Hurricane Laura Calcasieu Parish

Hurricane Laura damage in Calcasieu Parish in particular Calcasieu Refining. 

A Lake Charles refinery will lay off 69 employees later this year due to effects of COVID-19, company officials announced last week.

Calcasieu Refining Company will enact the layoffs Dec. 1 but have given affected employees 60 days notice, president and CEO Russ Willmon wrote in the company’s Workforce Adjustment and Training Notification Act letter dated Oct. 2 to city and state workforce officials.

CRC, a small independent refinery located on the city’s south side, will bring back displaced employees “as soon as it is economically feasible to do so,” Willmon wrote. When that happens is undetermined due to “many uncertainties related to COVID-19 and its impact on the refinery business.”

Of the 69 employees let go, 22 are classified as operators. Others had various job classifications.

The development comes after CRC, which has the capacity to process about 135,500 barrels of crude oil each day, was idled in mid-August before Category 4 Hurricane Laura. It suffered “moderate to severe damage” from the storm.

The refinery makes include liquefied petroleum gas, naphtha, kerosene and diesel, which are transported for sale by barge, pipeline and tanker truck. The plant itself runs on natural gas or a mixture of gas and refinery fuel gas.

Global fuel demand has plummeted with the stay-at-home orders imposed to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Calcasieu Refining is a subsidiary of Transworld Oil USA Inc., with corporate offices in Houston, and incorporated in Bermuda.

Kristen Mosbrucker contributed to this report.

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Email Adam Daigle at adaigle@theadvocate.com.