Shell has decided to close a Louisiana refinery in Convent.
On Thursday, Gov. Edwards issued a statement on the closing of that refinery, expressing his disappointment but pledging his support to those who have lost jobs as a result.
Around 700 people were employed by that facility, according to Governor Edwards.
According to the Advocate, Shell is shutting down the refinery after the company tried to sell it on the open market without success. The shutdown process is expected to begin in mid-November as the company consolidates its oil refinery portfolio from 14 sites to only six by 2025.
“We are disappointed to learn that Shell’s Convent Refinery in St. James Parish will be closing in the near future. This is a difficult decision for Shell and a challenging time for the company’s 700 Convent employees and their families. The State of Louisiana will support them in every way we can through the Rapid Response Unit of the Louisiana Workforce Commission and through prioritized placement of these talented workers within our state.
“It’s important to note that Shell is reducing the number of standalone refineries company-wide in favor of consolidated industrial sites that integrate refining and chemical operations. This decision is not due to a lack of competitiveness on the part of Louisiana’s business climate or workforce, and the company will continue to operate many vital assets here. Shell employs nearly 4,000 people in our state, with a similar number of retirees. Company holdings in Louisiana range from deepwater operations headquartered in New Orleans and conducted offshore, to the Norco refinery, the Geismar chemicals plant, the Port Allen catalysts site, pipelines and other operations.
“I have asked Shell to work with us in re-employing workers of the Convent Refinery at other Louisiana locations. We also will support Shell in its efforts to sell and repurpose this important industrial site for the future benefit of St. James Parish, the River Parishes and our entire state.”
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