Shell Chemical LP started construction on the company’s $717 million linear alpha olefins manufacturing plant in Geismar, Louisiana.
The project will make Shell Chemical’s Geismar location the largest single-site producer of alpha olefins in the world. In addition, the Shell Chemical project will retain 650 existing jobs in Geismar and create 20 new direct jobs, according to Louisiana Economic Development.
The three-year project will culminate with Shell Chemical beginning operation of the new manufacturing plant in early 2018. The company has selected Baton Rouge-based Turner Industries as its general construction contractor. At peak building activity, the project is expected to generate 1,500 construction jobs.
“We’re excited to be formally breaking ground for the AO-4 expansion, a project that will reinforce Shell Geismar’s position as a key contributor to the economic vitality of our region and our state,” said Rhoman Hardy, Shell Geismar General Manager. “We’d like to express our appreciation to the Louisiana Economic Development for their invaluable assistance in making the AO-4 project a reality.”
The new manufacturing plant will produce intermediate chemicals that are crucial for a variety of consumer and industrial products, including packaging plastics, synthetic lubricants, drilling fluids and household detergents. Capacity of the linear alpha olefins unit will be 425 kilotons per year, and the new plant will be the fourth alpha olefins production plant on the 800-acre site, where Shell Chemical has operated since 1967.
Governor Jon Bel Edwards said, “We are proud of Louisiana’s status as one of the world’s great markets for the petrochemical industry. Shell Chemical is one of our most important economic driver companies, and we salute them for recognizing Louisiana as the most competitive location for expanding their production with this next-generation investment. We look forward to continued success for Shell Chemical and for the many hard-working Louisiana employees who contribute to that success. Their families will benefit, as will Ascension Parish and surrounding communities. This is a great win for our state.”
“Ascension Parish is at the intersection of sustained economic development and the highest quality of life for Louisiana families,” Ascension Parish President Kenny Matassa said. “We are proud that Shell Chemical continues to invest in Ascension Parish, and we look forward to many more years of fruitful collaboration.”
To secure the project, the state offered a competitive incentive package that includes the comprehensive solutions of LED FastStart. In addition, the company is expected to utilize Louisiana’s Enterprise Zone and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
“BRAC congratulates Shell on its expansion and global leadership in production of alpha olefins,” said President/CEO Adam Knapp of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. “Not only does this expansion create direct, high-wage positions at Shell, but it also provides a significant number of jobs for our region’s leading industrial contractors, representing significant economic opportunity.”