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Shell Chemical building $717 million feedstock plant in Louisiana


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December 2, 2015 by Canadian Plastics

Shell Chemical, the petrochemicals arm of Royal Dutch Shell, will build a new US$717 million manufacturing unit at its 800-acre complex in Geismar, Louisiana.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Shell Geismar general manager Rhoman Hardy announced the project in a Nov. 30 news release, noting the expansion will add to some 650 jobs already supported by the chemical complex. The Geismar site has been in operation since 1967, and has undergone several expansions over the years.

Construction is set to start in early 2016, with operations scheduled to begin in 2018. The project will create 1,000 construction jobs at peak activity, as well as 93 new indirect jobs and 20 new direct jobs.

“We are now focused on the safe and efficient integration of this high-value project into the plant’s day-to-day operations,” Hardy said in the release.

The new manufacturing unit will produce what are known as linear alpha olefins, chemicals used to produce a range of consumer and industrial products from plastics and lubricants to household detergents and oil and gas drilling fluids. The site also produces alcohols, ethoxylates, ethylene oxide, and ethylene glycols.

The unit – which will be the fourth added to Shell’s Geismar plant – has the capacity to produce up to 425 kilotons of alpha olefins per year, making the Geismar site one of the largest olefins producers in the world, Shell said.