Motiva announcement should bring jobs, money to Port Arthur

Published 11:54 am Thursday, May 25, 2017

By Mary Meaux and Jesse Wright


On Thursday, Reuters reported that Saudi Aramco is planning a $30 billion investment in Motiva by 2023.

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The company will begin with a $12 billion investment in Port Arthur. That refinery is already the largest in the United States and this investment will expand the facility.

Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce president Bill McCoy said he was pleasantly surprised by the news.

“Normally they’re required to keep it close to the vest,” McCoy said.

The news comes on the heels of a recent trip by President Donald Trump wherein the president announced billions in development deals with the United States.

“I hoped some of it would come our way and some of it did,” said McCoy.

The company has not announced when any expansion would begin, but McCoy said that whenever it does, it will mean jobs and investments locally.

“No matter what the number is … you’re looking at 1,200 to 2,000 constriction jobs and it’s the same effect of other construction companies and when you bring in that many people, they’re going to be living here and eating,” he said.

Port Arthur Mayor Derrick Freeman is also excited about the news, saying a $30 billion investment is a step forward and an improvement for the city.

“I think a lot of what people are excited about in Port Arthur is all of the hiring and procurement and everything coming back to Port Arthur instead of things coming out of Houston,” Freeman said.

Earlier this month, Motiva became an Aramco subsidiary after splitting with Royal Dutch Shell.

Port Arthur Councilmember Osman Swati also felt the new investment is good news for the city and now is the time to find ways to have Port Arthur residents trained for the jobs.

“We need to be proactive about our future,” Swati said. “Port Arthur businesses can take advantages of this and it (expansion) will definitely strengthen our economy and puts us where we need to be.”