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[Docket 4-96]

Foreign-Trade Zone 124, Gramercy, Louisiana; Proposed Foreign-
Trade Subzone--Shell Oil Company (Oil Refinery/Petrochemical Complex);
St. Charles Parish, Louisiana

An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones Board (the Board) by the South Louisiana Port Commission, grantee of FTZ 124, requesting special-purpose subzone status for the oil refinery and petrochemical complex of Shell Oil Company, located in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana. The application was submitted pursuant to the provisions of the Foreign-Trade Zones Act, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), and the regulations of the Board (15 CFR part 400). It was formally filed on January 18, 1996.

The refinery/petrochemical complex (983 acres) 1600 employees) consists of 4 sites in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana: Site 1 (220,000 BPD capacity, 826 acres)--main refinery complex located on the Mississippi River at 15536 River Road and Louisiana Hwy 48, near Norco, including some 40 miles of connecting pipeline ending at the Clovelly Dome Storage Terminal and a dedicated pipeline from the adjacent GATX Tank Terminal; Site 2 (142 acres)--chemical plant located adjacent to the main refinery at 16122 River Road; Site 3 (45,000 BPD capacity, 15 acres)--refinery, located at 11842 River Road, 6 miles east of the main complex, near St. Rose; and Site 4 (13 leased tanks with 1,713,000 barrel capacity)--storage facility within International MATEX Tank Terminals (IMTT), located adjacent to Site 3. The refineries, petrochemical plant, storage facility and pipelines operate as an integral part of the refinery/petrochemical complex.

The refinery is used to produce fuels, petrochemical feedstocks and petrochemical products. Fuels produced include gasoline, jet fuel, distillates, residual fuels, and naphthas. Petrochemical feedstocks include methane, ethane, propane, butane, butylene, ethylene, propylene and butadiene. Refinery by-products include sulfur and petroleum coke. The refinery complex also produces petrochemical products including epoxy resins, epichlorohydrin, methyl ethyl ketone, allyl chloride, secondary butyl alcohol and MTBE. About one-quarter of the crude oil (87 percent of inputs), and some feedstocks and motor fuel blendstocks used in producing fuel products are sourced abroad. In addition, some feedstocks used in chemical manufacturing may be sourced abroad including sulphuric acid and methyl mercaptan.

Zone procedures would exempt the operations involved from Customs duty payments on the foreign products used in its exports. On domestic sales, the company would be able to choose the finished product duty rate (nonprivileged foreign status--NPF) on certain petrochemical feedstocks and refinery by-products (duty-free). The duty on crude oil ranges from duty-free to 10.5/barrel. (The remaining finished products--fuel and petrochemical products--generally have higher duty rates than crude oil, and for those products zone procedures would be primarily used to defer Customs duty payments.) The application indicates that the savings from zone procedures would help improve the refinery's international competitiveness of the plants involved.

In accordance with the Board's regulations, a member of the FTZ Staff has been designated examiner to investigate the application and report to the Board.

Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions (original and 3 copies) shall be addressed to the Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is March 26, 1996. Rebuttal comments in response to material submitted during the foregoing period may be submitted during the subsequent 15- day period (to April 10, 1996).

A copy of the application and accompanying exhibits will be available for public inspection at each of the following locations:

U.S. Department of Commerce District Office, #1 Allen Center, Suite 1160, 500 Dallas, Houston, Texas 77002 Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 3716, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th & Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230

Dated: January 19, 1996. John J. Da Ponte, Jr., Executive Secretary. [FR Doc. 96-1307 Filed 1-25-96; 8:45 am]