Norco facility is located in St. Charles Parish. The facility has over 600 full-time employees, more than 160 contractors, and generates an annual payroll of $50 million. The company pays more than $16 million in state and local taxes and $6M is property taxes that help fund public education as well as police and fire departments.

In 2005, Shell spent over 26 million by purchasing goods and services from local vendors and businesses. Shell maintains an employment pledge to St. Charles Parish, with a priority to hiring qualified individuals and contractors from within the region and across Louisiana.


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Location and Ownership


Norco, St. Charles, Louisiana, USA
Nearest Large City: New Orleans


Chemicals: 100% Shell


Site Details

The Norco Refining Company is located next to the Mississippi River, about 20 miles west of New Orleans, Louisiana. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, we refine and market gasoline to about 14,000 Shell-branded gasoline stations together with our affiliate Shell Oil Products US. Company assets include three refineries, capable of refining approximately 690,000 barrels per day (bpd) and ownership or partial interest in 50 products terminals. The company is headed by Dan Romasko, president and CEO.

Size (hectares):


Size (acres):



53 million (Net Book Value)

Adjoining sites:

Motiva Refinery (integrated into site),

Valero Refinery, Hexion, Dow.

Principal activities:

Production of lower olefins (ethylene and propylene), aromatic feedstocks, olefin feedstocks,


1916 New Orleans Refining Company purchased 366 acres of sugar cane field from Good Hope plantation

The history of the Motiva Norco Refinery is closely aligned with the history and development of the town. In 1916 the New Orleans Refining Company purchased 366 acres of rice, indigo, and sugar cane fields from the Good Hope Plantation and began operating it as an oil terminal later that year. The Norco location provided an ideal hub for importing and shipping of oil products. Discoveries of large deposits of crude oil in the lower Mississippi Delta region led to development of refining capabilities.

When the New Orleans Refining Company first located to the area, it offered vast employment opportunities and unique incentives for those interested in joining the company. In 1919, the company provided its employees with on-site living quarters, schools, and recreational facilities. As the town grew around the facility, it adopted the name Norco, which was the acronym for New Orleans Refining Company.



New Orleans Refining Company purchased 366 acres of sugar cane field from Good Hope plantation


First unit began operations


Shell purchased Norco


West Site chemical plant was built


OP-1 start up


GO-1 start up


OL-5 start up


OP-1 shut down


Norco Manufacturing Complex splits into Chemical and Refining businesses; purchased St. Rose


Restart OP-1 and integrated it with GO-1 and OL-5


MEK unit shutdown on West Site, subsequent divestiture; Bargaining Units merged


ISO Certification

ISO Certifications achieved for lower olefins (1993), butadiene, MEK (1995) and High Purity Resins (1996)
Environmental Management System (2003)


Governor's Lantern Award, Distinguished Partner Award, NPRA (National Petrochemical and Refiners Association) Safety Awards, Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence, Civic Star Award, US EPA National Partnership for Environmental Priorities Achievement

Main Products Manufactured and/or Stored





Aromatic feedstock

Secondary butyl alcohol

Olefin cracker feedstocks


Butadiene, butylenes

Secondary butyl alcohol

Olefin feedstocks


Health, Safety and Environment Information

Numerous awards relating to Health, Safety and Environment performance, including NPRA Safety Awards and Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence

Participation in Louisiana Chemical Association Safe Program

Plant Capacities


(million lbs/yr; kt/yr)

BD-5 (Butadiene Plant no. 5) 



(based on process rate)  

GO-1 (Gas Olefins Plant no.1)


OL-5 (Liquid Olefins Cracker no.5)


St. Rose (Olefin Plant Prep. Unit) 


(based on high value product)




Conversion of approximately 250,000 barrels per day of crude oil which is made up of primarily domestic crudes. The Refinery also converts approximately 20,000 to 40,000 barrels per day of other feed stock into gasoline, jet fuel, Diesel and byproducts.  We are considered a light, sweet (low sulfur) crude oil refinery>



The Chemical plant processes gas feeds and liquid feeds to produce nearly 3 billion pounds of ethylene and 1.4 billion pounds of propylene per year. In addition, the Chemical plant produces approximately 350 million pounds of butadiene per year.



The Norco Manufacturing Complex was awarded the Gulf Coast Safety Council’s Outstanding Owner Safety Performance Award for 2014.

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