Chalmette Refinery History
Construction of the Chalmette Refinery begins. Construction took nearly four years and required 20,000 tons of cement, 10,000 windows and five million bricks produced on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain.
May 17, 1909
At 6:00 AM, the refinery began operations. When it opened, it produced 3 million pounds of sugar a day.
Raw sugar, which had previously been delivered to the refinery in 200-lb. burlap sacks, began to be delivered in bulk. Cranes were constructed to unload it, and a new raw sugar shed was built to store the bulk sugar.
Upgrades were made to improve capacity and energy efficiency. Our capacity and efficiency have only increased since then. We are the largest cane sugar refinery in the western hemisphere, producing more than 7 million pounds a day.
August 29, 2005
The Chalmette Refinery felt the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina. Much of the refinery was flooded and damaged, and many employees lost their homes. Despite these difficulties, we offered refuge to our community in this time of need. While employees were getting their lives back together, they were also determined to get the refinery restarted. In 98 days, the refinery was operating again, earning the refinery the moniker of the “Can Do Refinery”.
May 17, 2009
The refinery celebrates 100 years of operations.
Today, the Chalmette Refinery is the largest cane sugar refinery in the western hemisphere.