Mayor Jay Willis, flanked by company and local community leaders, cuts the ribbon on Oleo-X's new Pascagoula, Mississippi facility.
The Mississippi Gulf Coast site, closed three years ago, is now home to a renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel feedstock merchant pretreatment facility.
Three years ago, Chemours announced that it was closing its First Chemical plant in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The plant was producing aniline intermediates and derivatives as well as nitrobenzene, ingredients in items such as pharmaceuticals, tires, agricultural chemicals, and building materials.
The company announced the closure of the Coast facility in the summer of 2020 after determining that the aniline business was not to be at the core of their future strategy. The site closure resulted in production ceasing at the site as well as the loss of jobs for 74 employees.
Two years later, in June 2022, Oleo-X acquired the former First Chemical Corporation facility and requested the transfer and/or reissuance of permits related to site production from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.
On Thursday, Oleo-X held a ribbon cutting and announced the launch of its renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel feedstock merchant pretreatment facility that is located at the Pascagoula site of the former Chemours First Chemical plant. On hand at the event were local city, county and economic development leaders, along with representatives from U.S. Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith.
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves welcomed the news, telling the Magnolia Tribune that this is another victory for Mississippi’s booming Gulf Coast.
“I want to congratulate the entire Oleo-X team on their ribbon cutting and wish them all the best on their continued growth,” conveyed Governor Reeves.
Oleo-X is a leading innovator and producer of premium renewable fuel feedstocks, delivering a product “so pure” that, according to one of its investors, some customers call it “liquid gold.”
The company says the new “cutting-edge facility” will produce up to 300 million gallons per year of premium feedstock and will provide more than 60 jobs, including 27 site leadership employees in Jackson County.
In addition to the facility launch, Oleo-X also announced the appointment of longtime airline fuel executive Sergio Correa as its Chief Executive Officer. Previously head of Clean Oil Products at Delta Air Lines, Correa brings experience in the oil and gas industry with a long-term perspective from a large end-user.
“After gaining extensive experience in the fuel industry, I am proud to deepen my focus on innovative renewables at Oleo-X,” said Correa. “Helping to bridge the gap between our diverse industries such as agriculture, chemicals, oil, and transportation, and with our diverse investor, supplier, and customer base, is a fascinating challenge. I am eager to lead Oleo-X’s journey at the forefront of this fuel revolution.”
The new CEO said the company is pleased to be launching its state-of-the-art facility in Pascagoula while also contributing to the regional economy.
“We are grateful to our local community partners, the Jackson County Economic Development Foundation, the Jackson County Board of Supervisors, and the City of Pascagoula, for their support,” Correa said. “These partnerships have been instrumental in building our networks on the ground and helping Oleo-X lay the foundation for our early success.”
Jackson County Economic Development Foundation executive director George Freeland said Oleo-X’s new facility is tremendous news for the local economic landscape.
“This company will blend well in our culture of innovation, creating jobs for our residents and providing clean fuel for the world. I’m thrilled by today’s announcement,” Freeland said.