Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and PBF Chalmette Refinery Manager Steven Krynski announced that the company is studying the possible conversion of an idled refinery unit into a renewable diesel production complex. The refinery’s parent company, PBF Energy, would make a $550-million capital investment to retrofit a hydrocracker unit—out of operation since 2010—with new technology to accommodate renewable diesel production.
The project also would include construction of a pretreatment unit that will allow Chalmette Refining to create non-fossil feedstocks from soybean oil, corn oil and other biogenic fats and oils.
With the project, Chalmette Refining would create 20 new direct jobs at an average annual salary of $70,000, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development (LED) estimates the project would result in 90 new indirect jobs, for a total of 110 new jobs for St. Bernard Parish and the Southeast Region. The project is expected to support 200 construction jobs, and it would enable Chalmette Refining—the largest private employer in St. Bernard Parish—to retain 516 existing jobs at the refinery.
PBF Energy and its potential partners are considering Chalmette Refining along with other facilities for the renewable diesel project, and it expects to make a final investment decision after local taxing bodies in St. Bernard Parish consider the project. PBF is one of the largest independent refining companies in the US. In addition to its Louisiana facility, PBF operates two refineries in California and one each in Ohio, Delaware and New Jersey.
To secure the project, the State of Louisiana offered PBF Energy an incentive package featuring the comprehensive workforce solutions of LED FastStart, a state workforce training and talent attraction program. The company also is expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs. The granting of ITEP incentives is subject to final approval by local officials in St. Bernard Parish, with votes expected later this summer.
The Chalmette Refinery, located outside of New Orleans, Louisiana, is a 185,000-barrel-per-day, dual-train coking refinery with a Nelson Complexity of 13.0 and is capable of processing both light and heavy crude oil. The Chalmette refinery predominantly produces gasoline, distillates and specialty chemicals. PBF has funded more than $355.5 million worth of projects at the facility since acquiring the facility.