BATON ROUGE — Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards and Shell Chemicals Vice President for Gulf Coast Manufacturing Rhoman Hardy announced the company will advance feasibility plans for a potential $1.2 billion manufacturing expansion at its Shell Geismar facility in Louisiana. At the 841-acre complex in Ascension Parish, Shell Chemical LP would build a world-scale monoethylene glycol plant, pending final engineering, design and investment decisions. A decision to proceed with the project could come from Royal Dutch Shell in 2020.
The Geismar project would create 23 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of $100,000, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project also would result in 112 new indirect jobs, for a total of 135 new jobs in the state’s Capital Region. Shell would retain 575 existing jobs at the Geismar site, with the project supporting 3,700 company jobs statewide. In addition to the retained jobs and new jobs, the project would generate more than 1,000 construction jobs
“Shell Chemical LP has a more than 50-year history of investment at Geismar that has provided high-quality jobs for decades, and made the site a world-class manufacturing facility,” Gov. Edwards said. “The successful completion of the company’s recent alpha olefins project, combined with this potential expansion, demonstrates to the world that Shell has confidence in Louisiana and recognizes our state’s tremendous physical attributes and our outstanding workforce. Louisiana looks forward to working with Shell Chemical LP to make this investment happen.”
Monoethylene glycol, or MEG, is a key ingredient in manufacturing paints, paper, textiles, resins, coolants and adhesives.
This year, the MEG project already has won unanimous approval from the Ascension Parish Council (Jan. 17) and the Ascension Parish School Board (Feb. 5) for parish and local property tax abatement under Louisiana’s Industrial Tax Exemption Program. LED and Shell Chemical will complete negotiations on an incentive package for the project prior to the final investment decision.
“We at Shell are proud of our long history in Louisiana, and I’m very excited about the positive potential of this project for Shell and for the state,” Hardy said. “We look forward to working with Governor Edwards and LED as we move toward a final decision.”
After a 1965 groundbreaking in Ascension Parish, Shell began operating the Geismar chemicals plant in 1967 and completed other major expansions in 1995 and 2002. In December 2018, Shell completed a $717 million expansion that increased its linear alpha olefins capacity by 425,000 tons to a total of 1.3 million tons per year. That volume ranks the Geismar plant as the largest single-site manufacturer of alpha olefins in the world. Products at the Shell Geismar site contribute key ingredients for making personal care products, soaps, shampoos and household cleaning solutions.