ExxonMobil Beaumont, Tri-Con provide fuel to support Hurricane Laura recovery

  • Nakisha Burns, Beaumont Area Public and Government Affairs Manager for ExxonMobil; Tri-Con Inc. President Elias Sarkis; Orange City Manager Mike Kunst; and ExxonMobil Beaumont Refinery Manager Ryan Bucholtz
    Nakisha Burns, Beaumont Area Public and Government Affairs Manager for ExxonMobil; Tri-Con Inc. President Elias Sarkis; Orange City Manager Mike Kunst; and ExxonMobil Beaumont Refinery Manager Ryan Bucholtz

The ExxonMobil Beaumont Refinery and distributor Tri-Con announced Sept. 8 a combined donation of nearly 15,000 gallons of Synergy gasoline and Synergy Diesel Efficient to support Hurricane Laura recovery efforts in the Orange and Vinton communities. The donated gasoline and diesel is being produced at the Beaumont Refinery, and Tri-Con is transporting the fuel to the impacted areas for distribution to emergency responders.

“We feel very blessed that Beaumont was spared from Hurricane Laura,” said ExxonMobil Beaumont Refinery Manager Ryan Bucholtz. “We are happy to be able to help our neighbors in Orange and Vinton in this time of need, and are thankful for all of the emergency responders who are working hard to help these communities recover. As soon as we learned of the need for fuel in Orange and Vinton, we made the commitment to help.”

Tri-Con Operations Manager Ron Nicklas said Tri-Con is “honored” to partner with ExxonMobil.

“Our company owns and operates Exxpress Mart convenience stores in this area, and we deliver fuel throughout Southeast Texas, so it was our pleasure to donate our drivers and equipment and pick up the fuel from the ExxonMobil terminal and bring it to the various locations where it would be distributed,” Nicklas described. “We are very fortunate to live here in Southeast Texas, and anytime we can give back, we do. This is just an example of the types of things that we do.”

Tri-Con President Elias Sarkis said his company is always looking for ways to support the Southeast Texas community it serves – the same community he calls “home.”

“Obviously, this our community – Beaumont, Jefferson County, Orange County, Hardin County,” said Sarkis. “It’s very important for us to support our community and our first responders. ExxonMobil is the largest refinery in the area, and one of the largest in the whole state. It’s nice for them to step up and to be so involved. We’re very proud to be associated with the ExxonMobil brand. Having their refinery here in our back yard, we’re very lucky.”

“We’re also very fortunate that we didn’t get hit hard in Beaumont, Jefferson County and Hardin County,” Sarkis continued. “Orange got the brunt of it for Texas, and we’re happy to be able to help.”

The leaders of the two cities who will benefit from the fuel expressed their thanks and appreciation.

“I would like to sincerely convey my appreciation to ExxonMobil for this generous donation to our community,” said Larry Spears Jr., Mayor of Orange. “Our community has sustained significant damage and ExxonMobil’s support brings hope in this time of need.”

“We appreciate ExxonMobil’s commitment to the smaller communities,” said Kenneth Stinson, Mayor of Vinton. “It is heartwarming that ExxonMobil thought of us, and this donation will help our city and our citizens get back on our feet after this devastating hurricane.”

Orange City Manager Mike Kunst said the fuel donation would go a long way to run vehicles and equipment as cleanup continues throughout the city.

“ExxonMobil’s donation will help us fuel our vehicles, because we’re running more,” he explained. “Our city workers are out there doing their thing, going above and beyond what they normally do. We’re running a lot of generators, and things as simple as chainsaws. A lot of equipment is being used as a result of Laura. All the things that we normally do, this is far more than that, so this fuel will really help.

“We’re blessed here in Southeast Texas with ExxonMobil and other industrial partners who step to be good neighbors, but especially ExxonMobil this time. We appreciate them a lot.”

The fuel delivery process to Orange and Vinton began on Sept. 4. Additionally, Bucholtz said ExxonMobil’s Baton Rouge Refinery is doing its part to assist with recovery in Lake Charles, which was heavily impacted by Hurricane Laura.

“ExxonMobil has another refinery in Baton Rouge, and that refinery is also very concerned with helping out. They’ve actually pushed west to help Lake Charles, so we’re helping to push east from our direction to make sure ExxonMobil meets in the middle and takes care of as many of the communities along the I-10 corridor as we can,” he shared.

“We have a lot of employees who live in Orange and in Louisiana,” said Bucholtz. “So, after the storm passed and we got the facility safe and secured, we started looking out for our employees and their families and we started to look into the community in general. You can see the devastation, especially as you get closer to the border and into Louisiana. We have probably about 100 employees who live in this part of the country, and so we really wanted to do our part to help them. Many of them are blocked in and can’t get to their homes because there’s a tree lying across the street.

“Anything we can do to help the cities and those government agencies so they can get those trees chopped up and the streets open and power to the people, that’s something we want to do.”