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Layoffs avoided as Shell to revamp gasoline unit at Convent refinery

CONVENT — Royal Dutch Shell plans to refurbish the gasoline-producing catalytic cracking unit at its Convent oil refinery in St. James Parish next year and not demolish it as previously planned under an effort to link up the oil major’s Gulf Coast operations, a local government official said.

St. James Parish President Timmy Roussel announced Wednesday night that refinery managers told him the fluidized catalytic cracker would be furbished in a forthcoming “major turnaround” so it could be run for another four to five years, avoiding possible layoffs at the 227,600 barrel-per-day refinery.

Roussel told the Parish Council on Wednesday that he was informed the cracker was previously to be taken out of service and demolished with the completion of a pipeline system being built between Shell’s Convent and Norco refineries along the Mississippi River.

“The announcement will be forthcoming that the company decided to invest in a major turnaround for that cracker for another cycle,” Roussel said of an expected formal statement from Shell. “This is positive news as we look at it because it was always believed that layoffs would have taken place following that demolition.” FULL ARTICLE

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