Gov. John Bel Edwards made a special appearance in Ascension Parish on Friday November 3 to praise Royal Dutch Shell officials and the company’s U.S. operating groups for their continued commitment to Louisiana refining and chemical operations.

Edwards also mentioned praises for the ongoing expansion of Shell’s Geismar chemicals site and a decision to extend the life of a major gasoline unit at the Convent, Louisiana, refinery.

According to a report last year, Shell broke ground on a $717 million expansion at its Geismar chemical manufacturing site. The economic impact is great not only for the parish but for Lousiana. The project secures an existing workforce of 650 while creating 20 new quality jobs, supporting more than 1,000 contractor jobs, and currently generating 1,800 contract craftspeople jobs.

When completed in 2018, the Shell Geismar site will become the world’s No. 1 single-site producer of linear alpha olefins, which are building blocks for household detergents, plastics, synthetic lubricants and drilling fluids.

Additionally, at Convent, Shell plans to overhaul its catalytic cracking technology unit at the St. James Parish 227,600-barrels-per-day gasoline refinery. Shell employs approximately 4,400 in Louisiana, about 700 of whom are employed at the Convent site, says the report.

“This is a great outcome for our state,” Gov. Edwards said. “With more favorable market conditions, Shell recognizes the great value of its investment in facilities and our outstanding workforce throughout its River Parishes sites. We look forward to Shell’s continued contributions to our economy, from its Deepwater Gulf of Mexico-producing operations based out of New Orleans, to Norco, Convent, Geismar, Port Allen and other manufacturing, distribution and retail locations in our state.”

Furthermore, the governor was recognized for his job attraction efforts by the Organization for International Investment. Edwards became the first La. governor to issue an Open Investment Policy statement, declaring that foreign direct investment (FDI) benefits Louisianans.

"Governor Edwards' declaration sets Louisiana apart from other states in attracting job-creating foreign direct investment," said Jonathan Samford, vice president of the Organization for International Investment (OFII). "His proclamation today reaffirms the state's reputation as being 'open for business' and furthers thew governor's efforts in creating high-quality job opportunities. Governor Edwards understands that Louisiana can compete and win in the international economy."

Taken from OFII report: "According to latest U.S. data, international companies like Shell, BASF, and Siemens employ 74,300 Louisiana Workers, and job growth among these international employers has increased nearly 21 percent in the past five years. Louisiana has received more than $60 billion in FDI since 2008, ranking number one among all states in FDI per capita."