Shell announces it will close plant in St. James Parish, impacting 700 jobs

WAFB file photo of the Shell Convent
WAFB file photo of the Shell Convent(WAFB)
Updated: Nov. 5, 2020 at 12:29 PM CST
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CONVENT, La. (WVUE) - Shell has announced the shutdown of its Convent Refinery in Louisiana. The decision is part of the company’s global strategy to invest in a low-carbon future strategy. The shutdown process will begin mid-November.

In July, the company shared with its staff that the Shell Convent Refinery was being marketed.

“Despite efforts to sell the asset, a viable buyer was never identified. After looking at all aspects of our business, including financial performance, we made the difficult decision to shut down the site,” the company said in a press release.

Shell said it will ensure a safe and responsible shutdown of the refinery with a focus on the people who are most directly impacted. That includes supporting Convent employees at this difficult time by assisting them in applying for alternate opportunities within the company, or in transitioning to a future outside of the Shell.

“Shell will be opening a Selective Voluntary Severance program at its Geismar and Norco facilities, subject to bargaining for union represented employees, to potentially create additional roles where Convent employees can be placed,” the company said.

We will retain a meaningful presence in Louisiana by way of our integrated refining and chemicals sites at Norco and Geismar, our midstream infrastructure assets, branded retail presence, Gulf of Mexico operations and our offices in New Orleans.

After the shutdown process is complete, we will continue to market the Convent Refinery for divestment.

“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,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said.

He said the state is working with Shell to re-employ workers and supports the effort to sell and repurpose the site.

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