February 4, 2006 at 1:44 am #4247
2/2/2006 6:43:54 PM
Rumbles and rumors of a major industrial expansion in the Wabash Valley.One of the biggest pillars of the economy in Robinson Illinois is the Marathon Oil Refinery.
Rumors on the street in Crawford County are that the refinery is headed for a major expansion. Are they true or just talk?
Action 10 News went to Robinson looking for answers. Don’t let the gray nasty weather fool you. There’s a rumble in Robinson that good news is on the horizon. The talk is the Marathon Refinery may be expanding.
“Whether they’re rumors or whether they are true anytime you get a major employer talking about expansion in your community it causes excitement,” said Robinson Mayor Gary Davis. Marathon officials say there is nothing to announce, but folks have reason to wonder.
“They’re studying the feasibility of expanding the plant here,” said Robert Berty with the Crawford County Development Corporation, “and it would virtually double the size of the refining capacity here.”
There are plenty of reasons to be excited about the prospects of an expansion. First it would mean thousands of construction jobs. It would increase full time employment at the refinery, and beyond that it could give the whole economy in this community a big boost.
“People will be purchasing in our stores, buying real estate in our community,” said Mayor Davis, “That’s an improvement for us in this community.”
Marathon officials are downplaying the possibility for now, saying they are always conducting engineering and development work.
Still, with the nation needing more refinery capacity there’s hope that some of that could come from the Wabash Valley.
“We’d like for it to move from rumor to true,” said Davis, “but we don’t know for sure.”
What folks do know in Robinson is that if Marathon wants to expand they’re willing to be part of it.
The Marathon Refinery is already the 2nd largest employer in Robinson and has the largest annual payroll in the community.
February 4, 2006 at 1:50 am #7657
It seems strange that Marathon would release it’s Refinery & Coking expansion program announcing that
it was doubling Garyville refinery & coker, adding cokers at Detroit & Catlettsburg…..and leave out expanding Robinson?
But it also seems unlikely that the margins, access to heavy Canadian crude by pipeline deliveries that were key factors in some of the other expansions and would overlook the fact that Robinson has a somewhat under-utilized anode coker of at Robinson? So this could go either way fact or fiction.
If true then the next 4 years of coking expansions represent fairly large loss in anode grade coke producers running heavy crude and making fuel coke instead.
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