PORT ARTHUR — A not-so-welcomed Christmas gift for workers and the community was announced on Christmas Eve by Motiva Enterprises.
According to Verna Rutherford of Motiva, changes are being implemented to assure tighter control of costs on the $7 billion refinery expansion project that began December 2007. Demand for Motiva’s products is down, and with lower demand, margins are also down, making tight cost control essential.
The resulting downside are fewer contractual workers on the job for the next several months was cost analysis are evaluated. The bright side is the construction will continue and the project has made a significant economic impact in the area, Rutherford said.
“Construction will continue and we’re moving forward. We’re performing cost review on the project with tighter control,” she said. “There’s been lay-offs of contractual workers to ensure the workforce is at the appropriate level for construction levels. We’ll have a clearer path for the second quarter of 2009 (in the late spring). We’ll have confirmed information.”
Rutherford said it was a combination of issues why the company is doing the cost analysis — the overall economy and the response and demand of products are down as well as margins are down.
“We don’t know where this will end up. But a lot of work has been done and a huge economic impact has already hit the area. Adjustments are being made now,” she said. “We’re optimistic the project is continuing. The good news is we’re having an economic impact. It’s too early to tell.”