There’s now a new look, a new designation, and a new page in Shell Norco’s history as the Norco Manufacturing Complex has transitioned to Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Norco – the only such site in the United States.
New signage is now up along the River Road Main Gate entrance, and recently Shell’s agreement to support Henkel in the use of renewable based surfactants in the manufacture of laundry products was announced.
General Manager Tammy Little said the site’s new name reflects Norco’s refining-chemical integration and emerging capabilities in line with enabling production of lower carbon fuels and chemicals.
“New renewable chemical production will now go along with existing production from circular plastic waste and further illustrates our shift to a greater customer focus in recent years,” she said. “We are leading Shell in this journey. It’s fun to be the first. We’re proud to be a part of this community and want to continue to be a part of this community and provide solutions for a long time to come.”
Executive Vice President for Shell Chemicals and Products Robin Mooldijk said this agreement represents Shell’s first-of-its-kind commercial scale deal for renewable-based chemicals anywhere in the world.
“I’m pleased to be working with Henkel and helping it take important steps towards achieving sustainability goals,” he said.
Henkel and Shell Chemical LP have agreed to a five-year collaboration to replace up to 200,000 tonnes of fossil feedstocks used in the manufacture of surfactants with feedstocks that are based on renewable raw materials. The renewable-based surfactants will be used in Henkel’s laundry product brands, including many varieties of Persil®, Purex® and all® brands.
“This landmark cooperation significantly advances Henkel’s share of renewable-based ingredients in leading consumer brands in North America,” Chief Sustainability Officer at Henkel Ulrike Sapiro said. “This is an important, concrete step toward realizing our vision of a regenerative planet through a climate-friendly business model. Working together with partners like Shell will help get us there faster.”
Shell estimates that replacing up to 200,000 tonnes of fossil feedstocks with renewable feedstocks has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 120,000 tonnes of CO2e over the length of the five-year agreement.
Starting in 2023, up to 200,000 tonnes of renewable feedstocks will be used by Shell during a combined manufacturing process (along with fossil feedstocks) to produce surfactants. Using the mass balance approach, an independent accounting process will be applied that will enable Shell to attribute the total tonnes of renewable feedstocks used in the process solely to Henkel.
“A mass balance approach is an important step to support the growth of more sustainable raw materials being used in the supply chain and support a reduction in the overall mix of fossil-based ingredients,” Vice President of Sustainability & Industry Relations for Henkel Jillaine Dellis said. “We are delighted to enhance the sustainability of our top-selling consumer brands in North America through this transition.”
The surfactants will be produced at the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Norco and Shell Geismar Chemicals facility in Louisiana. Shell will use independently certified sustainable feedstocks.
Mooldijk said the collaboration with Henkel is a fantastic example of the opportunity for future growth.
“We are investing in our chemicals facilities, including on the U.S. Gulf Coast, to scale up Shell’s sustainable chemicals capabilities and deliver the integrated and sustainable offers our customers increasingly want,” he said.
Little added that no jobs were lost or added considering the announcement.
“We know that there are a lot of changes coming in terms of the energy transition,” she said. “We were able to uncover with the nature of the asset that we have some really great connectivity to be able to bring in circular feedstocks and renewable feedstocks.”
Little said the engineers and operators at Shell were integral in investigating the renewable feedstock capabilities and applications.
“We’re at the frontier of what is possible when we think about how we can continue to make the same products that make modern life possible … the basic functions of fueling up your car and the materials that go into your house and the fibers that are in your clothes … and how might we make it in a very different way that is in harmony and unison with the environment,” Little said. “I am just so proud of the people here and their willingness to embrace new things and reimagine what is possible.”