Louisiana could get a second renewable diesel complex

PBF Chalmette (Courtesy PBF Chalmette)

PBF Chalmette Refinery is contemplating converting an idle refinery unit into a renewable diesel production complex.

Should the PBF Chalmette Refinery take on the project, it would be the second such facility in Louisiana after the planned Grön Fuels renewable energy complex in West Baton Rouge Parish and possibly put the state on the path to becoming a hub for alternative fuels.

According to an announcement from Louisiana Economic Development, 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 nonfossil feedstocks from soybean oil, corn oil and other biogenically derived fats and oils.

With the project, Chalmette Refining would create 20 new direct jobs at an average annual salary of $70,000, plus benefits. 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 says it expects to make a final investment decision after local taxing bodies in St. Bernard Parish consider the project.

To secure the project, the state of Louisiana offered PBF Energy an incentive package featuring the comprehensive workforce solutions of LED FastStart. The company also is expected to use 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.

Read the full announcement.