Next time you wash your hair or clean your kitchen counters, you're probably using a product that has its beginnings in your hometown. The Shell Geismar Plant is a major producer of the chemicals used in a wide range of consumer detergent products. The Plant's newest unit also contributes ingredients for a new high quality brand of carpeting.
Located on the east bank of the Mississippi River, the Shell Geismar Plant occupies about 30 percent of its 800 acre site, with large pecan trees and grazing cattle occupying most of the front of the property. The historic Ashland-Belle Helene Plantation is also located on the Geismar property and has been preserved by the Shell Oil Company Foundation.
Established in 1968, the Geismar Plant entered the marketplace as a producer of surfactants, serving the soap and detergent industries. Following a steady growth and expansion pattern in the seventies, the Plant expanded its capabilities with the addition of a Shell Higher Olefin Process (SHOP) unit that quadrupled alpha and internal olefin production capability. And in 1989, a second SHOP unit was added to meet the needs of the industry. In the nineties, the Plant expanded with the opening of a third Ethylene Oxide/Ethylene Glycol unit.
Within the last two years, the Plant's "look" changed dramatically with the Geismar Polymers Project, resulting in more than 50 permanent jobs. Shell Geismar was selected as the site for the project because of the Plant's outstanding safety and environmental records and extensive experience producing ethylene oxide, which is an important feed stock in the polymers production process. Materials produced in this unit will be used in the production of CORTERRA®, a highly durable and stain resistant carpet.
In addition to the materials produced for the new carpet line, the principal products produced at the Geismar Chemical Plant fall into two major categories, detergent products and ethylene oxide products. Detergent products range from shampoos and dishwashing liquids to laundry detergent powders and liquids, and hard surface cleaners. Additionally, the products are used in such diverse applications as metal cleaning solutions, as emulsifiers in herbicides, and as a wetting agent used in textile and paper production, as well as the manufacturing of lube oil additives.
Ethylene oxide is used in the production of paints, lacquers, cleaners and anti-icing additives in military jet fuel. Ethylene glycol's main uses are in antifreeze and in the manufacture of polyester fibers.
Shell and its more than 500 employees and retirees support and are involved in many community and regional activities including numerous educational outreach programs as well as organizations such as the United Way and the Urban League.
As a neighbor and as a leading industry in Louisiana, Shell Geismar is proud of its contributions to the well being of the community and its commitment to safety, health and preservation of the environment.
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