Key facts

Location: Geismar, Louisiana, USA, approximately 32 kilometres (20 miles) south of Baton Rouge

Interests: Shell (100%)

Key Contractors: Jacobs Engineering, Turner Industries


Project overview

Located on the east bank of the Mississippi River, Shell’s Geismar manufacturing facility is 32 kilometres (20 miles) downriver from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA. Shell announced the purchase of the Geismar site, which had originally been part of the Ashland Plantation, in January 1965 and operations began in 1967.

The Shell Geismar facility manufactures chemicals such as alcohols, ethoxylates, ethylene oxide, ethylene glycols and alpha olefins that form the basis of many everyday objects.

Alpha olefins, for example, are a key ingredient in many finished products that people use and enjoy every day, including laundry detergents, motor oils, and hand soaps.

Ethylene Glycols are used to produce polyester fibers for the production of clothing, upholstery, carpet, pillows, surgical supplies and containers, amongst other things.

Project expansion

In November 2015 Shell took the final investment decision to increase the production of alpha olefins (AO) at the Geismar site. The expansion included the construction of a fourth AO unit which added 425,000 tonnes of capacity, bringing the total AO production of the site to more than 1.3 million tonnes per year.

The new unit strengthens Shell’s leading position in the US Gulf Coast. The Geismar site is supported with advantaged ethylene feedstock from Shell’s nearby Norco, Louisiana, Deer Park and Texas manufacturing sites, enabling the site to respond to market conditions. AO4 utilises Shell’s advantaged technology, known as the Shell Higher Olefins Process (SHOP) technology.

Construction of the new unit began in 2016 and production started in December 2018.

Society and environment

Safety is crucial to production at Geismar. Across all of Shell’s operations, the company strives to achieve “Goal Zero” – no harm to people or the environment.

The expansion emphasised working with local companies. The primary contractor was Turner Industries, which was founded and is headquartered in nearby Baton Rouge, Louisiana. There were more than 2,000 construction workers employed and an additional 20 permanent jobs created during the expansion process.


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