Virtual Engineering Operations, VEOPS, hopes to build a $100 million refinery in Oakdale located in Allen parish.
The site is here off Highway 10, which is off Highway 165 there used to be an old turpentine plant shut down long ago, used by other chemical companies and cleaned up. The land was donated to Allen Parish, now planning to lease it to VEOPS for a refinery. Company president Craig Harrington, investors and others were here visiting the site. "We're looking at developing and building, construction,a 20,000 barrel a day crude topping unit to produce diesel and jet fuel for the local areas."
Harrington says the first is a $100 million dollar development and then they hope to add a fabrication facility. "Refurbishing equipment, fabricating pipe, fabrication for other projects that go on around the world basically. Different construction companies maybe do not have a pipe fabrication, that we would be able to provide pipe fabrication for their piping systems and vessel equipment," said Harrington.
After phase one and the fabrication facility, there could be a second refinery. In all could mean about 350 jobs. "After we finish and get in production with phase one, we will then go to build the second 20,000 barrel per day crude facility," said Harrington.
Oakdale Mayor Andrew Hayes says the development on this 200 acre plus site may be just what they need to deal with their eight per cent unemployment. "We have an eight plus unemployment rate. We have been trying to get industry into Oakdale and just to see an industry of this, as VEOPS, coming to the City of Oakdale, it's a blessing," said Hayes.
Their next hurdle is to get state environmental permits which will take several months.construction is expected to start later this year. They'd like to be up and running by 2014.
Anyone interested in employment should check out the company web site.
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Company officials and investors toured the site where years ago a turpentine plant operated. Mayor of Oakdale Andrew Hayes says it will be a great economic boost to the area.
The parish bought the property years ago for economic development, possibly an industrial park, and looks forward to leasing it to VEOPS.
Company officials are submitting required paperwork and information to Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and they hope to open in 2014 according to company president J. Craig Harrington.
Those interested in jobs should check VEOPS.COM.
Theresa Schmidt will have more about the potential refinery on later editions of 7 News.