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Port Arthur Expansion

The first oil refinery in Texas is on its way to becoming the largest in the United States.

The oil refinery in the Gulf Coast city of Port Arthur is the oldest in Texas. Soon, it will be the largest refinery in the United States.

Under contract to Motiva Enterprises LLC, a joint venture of Bechtel and Jacobs Engineering Group is expanding the Port Arthur Refinery, a project that will increase its capacity from 275,000 to more than 600,000 barrels a day. Underscoring the size of the project is the amount material and equipment it will require: 260,000 cubic yards of concrete, 2.4 million feet of pipe, 5.6 million feet of cable, 54,000 tons of structural steel, and nearly 300 modules, each weighing more than 1,200 tons.

The construction phase of the expansion began in the fall of 2007. Completion is scheduled for 2010. At peak construction, the project will employ between 5,000 and 6,000 workers.

The Port Arthur refinery went into operation in 1903, following a gusher and oil boom in nearby Beaumont. The refinery played an important part in the production of high-octane aviation fuel in World War II. Today it is operated by Motiva, a joint venture of Saudi Refining, Inc. and Shell.