PORT ALLEN, La. – Shell Catalysts & Technologies announced a final investment decision of $121.7 million to expand its West Baton Rouge Parish facility. Improvements to the flagship plant will increase the production of high-performance catalysts used to generate a less energy-intensive refining process.
The company expects to create 17 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of more than $94,000 while retaining 86 existing positions. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in an additional 57 new indirect jobs, for a total of 74 new jobs in the Capital Region.
“As the world transitions to cleaner energy, Louisiana continues to lead by example through business investment, innovation, and job creation,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “Shell Catalysts & Technologies’ mission to develop innovative technical solutions for a more sustainable refining process aligns with the state’s Climate Action Plan and provides new opportunities for our skilled, dynamic workforce.”
Catalysts are substances used during the manufacturing process to increase the rate chemical reactions occur. These substances are used to produce a wide variety of items ranging from biofuels and sustainable aviation fuel to medical equipment and shoes. The Port Allen location is the largest refining catalyst plant in the world and the expansion will allow the facility to increase manufacturing capacity by an additional 15,000 tons per year.
Shell Catalysts & Technologies develops state-of-the-art products activated by lower amounts of heat, electricity, or steam, resulting in a reduced energy-intensive refining process. "Shell Catalysts & Technologies has a more than 13-year history of operation at Port Allen that has provided jobs for over a decade and made the site a world-class catalyst manufacturing facility,” said Elise H. Nowee, Vice President of Shell Catalysts & Technologies. “The company’s investment is another testament to our commitment to the state of Louisiana as a prime location for doing business.”
Early-phase construction began earlier this year along with detailed production design. Installation of new equipment is anticipated in September 2024, with product qualification finishing in December 2024.
“Shell Catalyst & Technologies’ expansion in West Baton Rouge is a great example of Louisiana’s economic vitality and our ability to attract new investments across a broad range of industries,” West Baton Rouge Parish President Riley Berthelot said. “I am proud of our talented workforce that continues to manufacture high-quality products at the Port Allen facility that consumers around the globe use. This marks another significant milestone for West Baton Rouge.”
To secure the project in West Baton Rouge Parish, the state offered Shell Catalyst & Technologies a competitive incentives package, including the comprehensive workforce development solutions of LED FastStart. The company also is expected to participate in the state’s Enterprise Zone and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
“For over a decade, Shell Catalyst & Technologies has called Port Allen its home,” West Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Anna Johnson said. “When companies in Louisiana choose to expand here, it reaffirms our status as the best state to do business. Shell Catalyst & Technologies continues to surpass our community expectations, and this expansion is a key pillar of our long-term growth strategy.”
“Shell Catalyst & Technologies continues to be a local leader in the energy sector and continues to push toward the future,” said Baton Rouge Area Chamber president and CEO Adam Knapp. “This expansion shows the region’s strength to lead on energy efficiency. We applaud our partners in West Baton Rouge Parish and the West Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce for securing this expansion, and we are grateful to Shell Catalyst & Technologies for its investment.”
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