St. Bernard School Board Approves Chalmette Refining Tax Exemption
CHALMETTE, La. – The St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation announced that St. Bernard Parish’s School Board has officially approved Chalmette Refining’s Industrial Tax Exemption Program application at the local level. The ITEP, a state incentive aimed at attracting investment in manufacturing, provides an 80% property tax abatement for an initial term of five years and the option to renew for five additional years at 80% property tax abatement on a manufacturer’s qualifying capital investment related to the manufacturing process in Louisiana. With Sheriff James Pohlmann and Parish Council approving the exemption earlier this month, this is the first ITEP to receive local approval in St. Bernard Parish.
The proposed $550 million investment, to be made to PBF Energy’s existing Chalmette Refining facility, will serve as a top producer of biofuels and renewable diesel. The project involves retrofitting a refinery unit that has been idled since 2010, constructing a new pre-treatment unit, and making additions to docking, loading, offloading and tankage capabilities. The ITEP serves a crucial role in attracting investment funds to the St. Bernard project; there is hope that construction of the improvements to the facility could begin as early as this year, with plans to be fully operational by the end of 2022 or first quarter of 2023.
PBF Energy’s Chalmette Refinery Manager Steve Krynski sees the exemption as an immense opportunity for the parish’s community.
“The Renewable Diesel Unit would put St. Bernard Parish at the forefront of the green energy transition – bringing new full-time jobs to the refinery, new opportunities for local businesses, and new tax revenue to the parish,” he said in a press release. “The overwhelming excitement for this project from residents and officials from across St. Bernard Parish underscores just how woven Chalmette Refining is into the fabric of our local community – and why this is the ideal location for such an exciting ‘green’ investment.”
State economic development officials estimate the project will directly add 20 new, permanent jobs in St. Bernard with an estimated payroll of $1.4 million, and at least 92 indirect jobs and 600 jobs expected for construction. PBF Energy’s Chalmette Refinery, built in 1915, is the largest private business taxpayer and employer in the parish and employs more than 500 people currently.
“Their vote of approval is an important indicator that St. Bernard Parish is open for business and welcomes new investments, along with the jobs and new revenue streams that accompany them,” said SBEDF executive director Meaghan McCormack . “It’s critical for the future of our local businesses and workforce that we make investments today that will help to ensure a brighter tomorrow.”