Marathon CEO talks about massive Findlay expansion - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Marathon CEO talks about massive Findlay expansion

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Marathon Petroleum is about to undergo a major expansion in Findlay. The multi-million dollar project involves new buildings, parking garages and jobs. About 150 new jobs will be added to the nearly 2,000 that are already at Marathon's headquarters in Findlay. The CEO says there's room for even more growth.

A big piece of land in downtown Findlay is about to be transformed. Marathon CEO Gary Heminger says they have simply run out of room, "We've grown rapidly in the last few years. We're going to continue to grow specifically in the midstream and Speedway portions of our business."

Marathon will invest about $80 million to build two new buildings, two parking garages and create green space near the current headquarters, "We're the fourth largest refiner in America with 1.7 million barrels a day of refining capacity and we're one of the biggest midstream companies. By midstream I mean pipeline, terminals, trucks are marine. We're moving 9-9.5% of the nation's transportation fuels. Those fuels are being managed 24 hours a day from this location."

Of course a big concern when it comes to the expansion is making sure progress is being made on a plan to solve the on-going flooding problems in Findlay. The headquarters sustained millions in damages during the flood of 2007. An Army Corps of Engineers report on a solution for the flooding problems is expected by the end of the year, "When we have to relocate employees during flooding to operate a big part of the nation's energy infrastructure, it is putting the employees and their families at risk. We can't have this."

While he's proud of Marathon's history, growth and performance for investors Heminger says the people are what matter most, "One thing I like to say, especially when I am on Wall Street, is that I'll put the Midwestern work ethic up against anybody. What I am most proud of is the workforce. I am proud of how we work together. We are not a top down workforce. We work as one team."

Construction on the first parking garage will start this spring. Work on the new office building will get underway by the end of this year and it should be open for business in late 2015 or early 2016. They are also planning to have a hotel and conference center on the campus but Marathon would only be a partner on that project. It would be developed by a third party.

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