ExxonMobil said today that a new unit at its integrated Beaumont, Texas facility has started operations, increasing production of ultra-low sulfur fuels by about 45,000 barrels per day. The new unit relies on a proprietary catalyst system developed by ExxonMobil to remove sulfur and meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency specifications while minimizing octane loss. The addition of the new unit, ExxonMobil’s second major investment in Beaumont in less than two years, has supported more than 800 construction jobs. In 2016, the company increased the capacity of an existing crude unit by 20,000 barrels per day and added the flexibility to process light crudes. Both projects are components of ExxonMobil’s Growing the Gulf initiative. “Our latest investment in Beaumont will produce cleaner, higher-value products using unique and efficient proprietary catalysts and processes,” said Bryan W. Milton, president ExxonMobil Fuels & Lubricants Company. “The new unit at Beaumont will further enhance our competitiveness and strengthen ExxonMobil’s position as a leader among Gulf Coast refiners.” The company is expanding its polyethylene manufacturing capacity by 650,000 tonnes per year by 2019 and is proceeding with front-end engineering, design and other preparatory work to further increase the refinery’s crude refining capacity. Construction of the new crude unit, which is subject to a final investment decision, is scheduled to begin in 2019, with startup anticipated by 2022. The Beaumont facility has logistics advantages because of its proximity to nearby terminals, railways, pipelines and waterways. It also will benefit from Permian production growth. More than 2,000 employees support its refining and chemical manufacturing operations. The abundance of domestically produced oil and natural gas has dramatically reduced energy costs and created new sources of feedstock for U.S. refining and chemical manufacturing.