St. Charles Herald-Guide

Valero plans $700 million expansion

By Kyle Barnett - July 16, 2013

Valero is planning a $700 million expansion at their Norco refinery that will create around 12 permanent jobs and hundreds of jobs during construction.

The proposed expansion would add a methanol plant to the facility for the production of petrochemical feedstock to be included in plastics, paints and other consumer products. The new plant will produce 1.6 million tons per year of methanol and would make Valero one of the world’s largest producers.

Communications Director Taryn Rogers said Valero is focusing on the Norco refinery due to its advantages over other sites. 

“Valero chose St. Charles Parish because of the advantages of the site, proximity to the docks and the pro-business environment of Louisiana,” she said.

Rogers said natural gas prices are also a driving force behind the planned expansion. 

“The move into petrochemicals is aided by the low cost and accessibility of natural gas,” she said.

The latest expansion is expected to be completed late next year or early in 2015.

The announcement comes just after the corporation completed construction of a $1.5 billion hydrocracker facility and a $425 million Diamond Green Diesel project that went into operation at the Norco refinery earlier this year.