Engineering News

Criterion Catalysts Opens Plant Near Baton Rouge
June 22, 2010

Criterion Catalysts & Technologies L.P. officially opened its flagship, world-scale catalyst manufacturing facility in Port Allen, Louisiana, during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday. The event featured dignitaries including Louisiana Economic Development (LED) Secretary Stephen Moret, Louisiana Deputy Secretary of State Steve Windham and West Baton Rouge Parish President Riley Berthelot, Jr. in addition to Criterion leadership, employees and officials from its key business partner CRI-Criterion, Inc.

The facility opening represents a multi-year effort by Criterion beginning in 2006, when it announced the company was moving to Louisiana following the purchase of Southern Ionics Inc.'s Port Allen facility. Since their purchase, Criterion has made a more than $350 million investment to upgrade and expand the facility and increased the facility's workforce from 17 individuals to 80.

"Criterion's project represents yet one more example of Louisiana's enhanced commitment to retaining and expanding the companies that already do business in our state. Our state continues to buck national economic trends," said LED Secretary Stephen Moret.

Criterion Catalysts & Technologies is a leading, global producer of hydroprocessing catalysts, with more than 50 years of experience developing, manufacturing, testing, marketing, and servicing alumina catalysts. Hydroprocessing is the upgrading process for reducing heavy hydrocarbons, such as crude oil, into a more refined product, such as transportation fuels through the catalytic addition of hydrogen. This fully integrated flagship facility in Port Allen will perform all steps in the catalyst manufacturing process on site, creating a more streamlined and cost-efficient production cycle to meet the dramatic increase in hydroprocessing catalyst requirements to produce clean fuels.

"Sustainable, responsible, and cost-efficient energy development is the fundamental nature of the Criterion products and services," said Louay Masarweh, the facility's Site General Manager. "Here we will produce the catalysts that enable refiners to produce products that are less harmful to the environment and use fewer resources."

This strategic move to Port Allen enables Criterion to meet the increase in hydroprocessing catalyst requirements to produce clean fuels, while continuing to provide customers with the effective and cost-efficient catalysts and technologies. Additionally, having facilities in key areas around the globe, like Louisiana, gives Criterion better insights and rapid response capabilities to local trends or an individual customer's situation.

On June 15, this Criterion facility was awarded a Lantern Award by Louisiana Economic Development (LED) during a reception at the Governor's mansion in Baton Rouge. The annual Lantern Awards are done in partnership between LED, Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association and Louisiana Quality Foundation. The award recognizes the contributions of Louisiana's leading manufacturing companies over the past three years to bettering their communities, and growing their employee base and facilities.

Criterion Catalysts & Technologies L.P. is a wholly owned subsidiary of CRI/Criterion Inc., which is a part of the Shell group of companies and a major supplier of refining and petrochemical catalysts, processes and know-how. Criterion Catalysts & Technologies L.P. operates globally but acts locally as it supplies total packages of catalysts, services and solutions for refineries and is a leading provider of hydroprocessing, reforming, and specialty catalysts to the refining industry worldwide.

Source: Criterion Catalysts & Technologies L.P.

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