PBF Energy Inc. could convert an idle hydrocracking unit at its Chalmette refinery near New Orleans into a renewable diesel production complex, which could increase labor and other opportunities.
The refining giant has said it could invest $ 550 million to modernize a hydrocracking unit that has not been in service since 2010. A pre-treatment unit that would allow the complex to create raw materials from oil soybean, corn oil and other fats of biogenic origin are also being considered. oils.
“The devastating economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the energy sector is undeniable,” said Steven Krynski, director of refining at PBF Chalmette. “We have seen eight US refineries closed since the start of 2020, including one down the street in St. James Parish.
“PBF Energy is looking for projects that will create stability for our workforce, prepare the refinery for a green energy transition, and help us recover from the losses of the past year and a half. “
Louisiana offers financial incentives that include industrial tax exemption programs and quality jobs. These incentives “help make the numbers work, especially as our business and the entire industry recovers from the pandemic,” he said. With the support of our state and local leaders, I hope we can bring this project and its economic benefits to Saint Bernard Parish.
Gov. John Bel Edwards said the project, if it were to go ahead, could create 20 direct jobs with average annual salaries of $ 70,000 and benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimated that the project could also result in 90 indirect jobs and 200 construction jobs.
The Chalmette Refining Complex, the largest private employer in Saint-Bernard Parish, would retain 516 existing jobs.
“Louisiana continues to position itself as a leading state for environmentally responsible energy production,” said Edwards. “This innovative project by Chalmette Refining fits perfectly with the ambitions of the Climate Initiatives Task Force that I created last year.
“With this major investment in a next-generation energy source and the creation of quality manufacturing jobs along the way, Louisiana would benefit from this project on many levels.”
PBF and potential partners “are considering Chalmette Refining and other facilities for the renewable diesel project.” A final investment decision could be made after the local tax authorities in Saint Bernard Parish have reviewed the project.
The twin train coker refinery today has a total capacity of 185,000 bpd to process crude and produce gasoline, distillates and specialty chemicals. PBF also operates two refineries in California and one refinery each in Delaware, New Jersey and Ohio.
“The Chalmette refinery has been a pillar of our local economy for over a century,” said Saint-Bernard Parish President Guy McInnis. “This important project would position the refinery for success in the years to come, as it will adapt to the new demands of our energy future.
“Chalmette Refining is the first taxpayer and the largest private employer in the parish, and support for this project will help secure the future of Saint-Bernard parish.