Expected to generate millions of new property and sales taxes for St. Charles Parish, Valero Refining – New Orleans announced plans for an even bigger expansion at its Norco site.
“It’s not every day that our company invests $1.4 billion in a site,” Jerry Stumbo, vice president and general manager of Valero’s St. Charles Refinery, told the Parish Council at Monday’s meeting.
Valero and Darling Ingredients last year announced a $1 billion investment in its Diamond Green Diesel facility, which would double production. At Monday’s council meeting, Stumbo also announced a $365 million expansion of its Valero refinery.
Stumbo discussed the expansions as part of Valero and Darling Ingredients’ two applications for Louisiana Industrial Ad Valorem Tax Exemption Program (ITEP), which the council unanimously approved. It was the last hurdle the companies needed on the local level with approvals already granted by the Sheriff’s Office and School Board.
Collectively, the expansions will create 1,300 construction jobs and then 114 permanent positions, he said.
“St. Charles Parish has proven itself to be a supportive environment to do business, which is one of the reasons our company has continuously decided to invest here,” Stumbo said. “Your continuous support has allowed us to invest $5.2 billion in our facility right here in St. Charles Parish.”
The total was made since Valero bought the site in July of 2003, which he said has allowed the company to average more than 550 employees and 1,000 contractors on site a day.
The ITEP applications are for partial tax breaks for 10 years, which means the companies are still paying taxes and will pay more as these tax breaks end on past expansions.
In property taxes, Stumbo said Valero St. Charles paid about $10 million last year. It’s a number he projected will grow to $34 million by 2024.
Over the next six years, he said Valero will pay more than $86 million in property taxes as past projects come onto the tax rolls.
“Once the expansion is complete, it’ll be the largest renewable diesel facility in the U.S. and the second largest in the world,” he told the council about the renewable diesel refinery.
Diamond Green is a partnership between Valero and Darling Ingredients. The expansion, which was approved by Valero’s board of directors in November of last year, cleared the way to increase production of the renewable diesel to 675 million gallons a year and double capacity. The joint venture was founded in 2013 to meet growing demand of its customers – California, Canada and Europe – to meet carbon reduction programs. Plans are to have the expanded refinery in operation by mid-2021.
Corey Faucheux, the parish’s director of Economic Development and Tourism, said the ITEP process now requires local approval for the applications.
The ITEP exemption is 80 percent for 10 years with renewal approval needed after the first five years, Faucheux said.
“St. Charles Parish has proven itself to be a supportive environment to do business, which is one of the reasons our company has continuously decided to
invest here.” – Valero General Manager Jerry Stumbo
Valero spokeswoman Taryn Rogers said the applications will go to the Board of Commerce and Industry for final consideration in April.
Stumbo added, “What I’m most excited about is Valero’s commitment to community.”
Both job and vendor fairs will be held to invite local businesses to display what they can offer for Valero and its contractors.
“As a resident of St. Charles Parish, I wish I could hire everyone, but what we can do is let local residents know how they be successful with Valero,” he said. Community workshops will be held on what the company needs in an employee.
Stumbo said Valero’s philanthropy has included more than $9.7 million to the United Way of St. Charles over the last 10 years, $5.5 million to children’s charities in the parish and more than 7,000 volunteer hours to community programs.
Valero expansions by the numbers
- $1.4B – Total investment in two expansions: $1 billion in Diamond Green Diesel and $365 million in the Valero expansion.
- 1,300 – Construction contractors (temporary jobs) with both projects.
- 114 – Permanent jobs that will be created with both projects with a payroll of $14 million.
- 550 – Average number of employees on the Valero site.
- $32M – Estimated sales tax that will be generated yearly by the expansions.