ConocoPhillips, one of the largest integrated energy companies in the world, recently announced that it will be building a new training and research center in Louisville, Colo., about 10 miles southeast of Boulder.
The facility will lie on a 432-acre plot that the company purchased from Sun Microsystems in early 2008 for nearly $56 million.
“ConocoPhillips does not have a full-purpose learning center, and for a company our size, it’s certainly ideal for us to have something like that,” said Tracy Harlow, a company spokeswoman. “As far as what it is that we’d like to do there, when we say ‘global training center,’ we mean just that: It’s an easy place for us to bring in employees around the world — whether they’re new hires or executives.”
The center also would serve as the company’s global research and technology hub, handling development of renewable energy and high-tech carbon fuels recovery.
Though early news reports stated the center would be up and running by 2011 or 2012, Harlow said current economic hardships have pushed that date back to at least 2013.
“It’s just one of our lower priorities right now,” she explained. “We are still in the process of deconstructing the buildings that were on the 432 acres. We are so early in our planning.”
The planning may be nascent, but it’s certainly sitting well with the people and government of Louisville. Malcolm Fleming, Louisville city manager, said the company worked with the city before generating a design.
“They are taking their time to understand the best way to create that facility,” Fleming said. “They’ve said they want [it] to be something that people who see it — driving by or taking the train — will say, ‘Wow, I wish I worked there.’ Having something [like] that will enable them to recruit and obviously train the kind of people that they need in their company.”
Fleming added that the center’s impact on the local economy likely will be positive.
“We anticipate businesses adjacent to the campus and related to the activities happening on the campus, both in Louisville and in surrounding communities,” he said.
ConocoPhillips is headquartered in Houston and employs 30,000 workers in 30 countries.