BATON ROUGE, LA–Marathon Petroleum Corp. is nearing the next step forward in its $2.2 billion to $2.5 billion potential upgrade to the Garyville refinery. At the end of April, the local company will file permit applications for the project with Louisiana’s Department of Environmental Quality. Following feasibility studies, Marathon Petroleum is expected to make a decision on the project by the start of 2015.

“As part of the ongoing feasibility study, Marathon Petroleum is pleased to be taking this next step of submitting the permit applications for the Residual Oil Upgrade Expansion at our Garyville facility,” said Rich Bedell, the company’s senior vice president for Refining, in a statement. “We have been diligently working with the state and local officials concerning the various milestones for a project of this size.

The possible Residual Oil Upgrade Expansion would allow Marathon Petroleum to convert heavy residual oil into 1.2 million gallons per day of ultra low-sulfur diesel.

If everything moves forward, construction could begin in the middle of 2015, with completion in 2018. 

The project is expected to create 65 new permanent jobs, with an average annual salary of $115,000 per year. It is estimated that the project will also require 3,000 construction jobs.

This project follows on the heels of the $3.9 billion refinery expansion that completed in 2009. Considered one of the largest manufacturing projects ever in Louisiana, the refinery was able to more than double its capacity.

“Never before in our state’s history have we seen such extraordinary gains in petroleum-refining technology complemented by favorable oil and gas economics and the most rapidly improving business climate in America – and it’s all happening here in Louisiana,” said Governor Bobby Jindal, in a statement Wednesday. “We’re proud that Marathon Petroleum recognizes the unique strengths that Louisiana offers in all of these areas and that the company is capitalizing on this historic opportunity to redefine what leadership looks like in the vitally important energy sector. This latest project proposed by Marathon Petroleum represents yet another opportunity to assert Louisiana’s leadership role as the next great state for business investment and energy growth.”