Shell Chemical LP plans to spend $717 million to build a new plastics feedstock plant in Geismar, La.
The plant will be built at Shell's existing Ascension Parish complex in Geismar and will have annual capacity of around 935 million pounds of linear alpha olefins (LAO), officials with Houston-based Shell said in a Nov. 30 news release.
LAOs often are used as comonomers in production of high density and linear low density polyethylene. They're also used in synthetic lubricants, drilling fluids and detergents. The expansion will make the Geismar site the world's largest LAO production site, officials said. The new unit will be Shell's fourth LAO plant built in Geismar since 1967.
Construction is set to start in the first quarter of 2016, with operations beginning 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,” Shell Geismar general manager Rhoman Hardy said in the release. Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal added in the release that the LAO project “reflects the best of our efforts to make Louisiana's business climate one of the best in the country and around the globe.”
News of the Geismar project comes as Shell continues to review plans to build a massive petrochemicals site that would include PE production in Monaca, Pa., near Pittsburgh. No final determination on that project has been made.