In Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (SMAC), the Living Refinery is a Secret Project. It may be built at a cost of 400 minerals, on discovery of Advanced Spaceflight (D8). The Living Refinery provides +2 Support in your social engineering profile; that is, it increases the number of units each base can support without incurring maintenance costs.

How useful is this? The "Democracy" social engineering choice (IMO, very attractive) unfortunately carries a -2 Support penalty; the Living Refinery cancels this penalty, making it cheaper to field military units. Really, at the mid-to-high difficulty levels, 2 defensive units should be your minimum garrison in each base, and that's all you can support for free at the baseline +/-0 Support. Even in peacetime, you'll want to have Formers and scout units out working, in addition to garrisons, so The Living Refinery repays its cost fairly quickly, especially if you have lots of bases.

Secret Project animation narrative:
   "We estimate that during the next mission century most of Planet's industries will be moved off-planet to Nessus Prime and other orbital facilities. Many of our industries will benefit from the low gravity environments available in space, particularly those involving genetically engineered microbes."
   -- CEO Nwabudike Morgan,
   "The Centauri Monopoly"

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.