Chevron Refinery, which has been a mainstay industry since 1963, bounced back quickly from Hurricane Katrina and also helped the community and the Coast rebound.
"We were back to normal production six weeks after the hurricane," said Steve Renfroe, public affairs manager. "During that six weeks we distributed a million barrels of on-hand gas and imported another two million barrels for local and regional use."|
They worked with the Port Authority, Navy, Coast Guard, Northrop Grumman and 30 service stations across the state.
Renfroe said the storm caused wind damage to cooling towers and the wharf area, but a dike system built around the refinery after Hurricane Georges prevented any serious water damage.
Georges caused major flood damage. It took three months for the refinery to get back in operation in 1998.
Renfroe said all 1,240 employees were accounted for in the first week, and most were back on the job to get the refinery running again. "The storm caused serious damage to 300 of our families' homes, including our general manager's."
Chevron's original investment and major expansions since top $2 billion, not including inflation. The refinery processes 330,000 barrels of crude oil a day, producing 5 million gallons of gasoline. A $150 million project will be completed this year to up gas production another 500,000 gallons a day.
Chevron, the biggest taxpayer, paid $8.4 million in county taxes and $9.1 million in school taxes in 2005.
A Chevron subsidiary is considering a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal adjacent to the refinery with a capacity of 1.3 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day.
Also, Chevron is considering a multibillion-dollar refinery at their site. "It's all still on the drawing board," Renfroe emphasized.
- GARY HOLLAND