Meet the Plant Manager

With more than two decades of experience, Motiva Convent General Manager Hugues Bourgogne is a proven leader capable of handling difficult situations thrown his way.

This may be a bit of an understate- ment, but it’s technically accurate: Hugues Bourgogne’s  rst month on the job has been eventful. How so?
Well, less than two weeks after the experi- enced executive — who has overseen oil and gas facilities in North America, Europe and Asia — was appointed General Manager of Motiva’s Convent re nery in August, a  re occurred in the plant’s H-Oil processing unit. Thankfully, none of the re nery em- ployees or contractors were injured and there was no harm to the community. The plant remained operational, except for the affected unit.
Then, only one day later, torrential rain- fall caused historical  ooding in many of the neighborhoods Motiva employees call home. Bourgogne estimated 15 to 20 percent of his workforce experienced various levels of dam- age to their dwellings due to the rising waters.
“I’m proud to be a part of this team,” Bourgogne says. “We’ve had a very unique month. It says a lot about our Emergency Re- sponse Team and our employees to respond to such a challenge… So after the incident [at the plant] the main objective was stabiliz- ing our operations here so we could go and help our employees.
“The spirit of people in this area is incred- ible. I worked in south Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina, so I already knew in the back of my mind that the people are resilient, and they have a sense of community and care. During Katrina, you’d go by a house where you normally saw one car to all of a sudden you’d see 10 cars belonging to people who needed to stay for a while. This is a com- munity that knows how to come together. So for me as the plant manager, I was coming up with initiatives to help, but that was already part of the culture.”
While Bourgogne and those who work alongside him in Convent do their part on a personal level, Motiva donated $250,000 to Louisiana relief efforts. A sizeable portion of that donation is earmarked for local schools near the Convent facility – a massive re n- ery with a crude capacity of 250,000 barrels daily.
Bourgogne believes the diversity of his experience will be substantial bene t as he tackles the challenges presented by his new assignment. Holding a chemical engineering degree from the Universite de Technologie de Compiegne, France, and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from University of Houston, Bourgogne found work at Shell France’s re nery and petrochemical complex – wearing many different hats during an 11- year tenure.
In 2003, Bourgogne moved to south Lou- isiana — Geismar, speci cally — where he served as Shell’s production unit manager for ethylene oxide/glycols and site utilities. Four years late, Bourgogne returned to the United Kingdom and Germany for corporate assign- ments with Shell before moving across the Atlantic again in 2011 to be the production manager at Shell’s Deer Park chemical facil- ity in Texas. Finally, Bourgogne spent a year traveling between the U.S. and Singapore as a Business Development Manager for Shell.
“Those roles really expanded my profes- sional horizon and taught me to adapt and perform in very different cultural environ- ments,” he says. “I was also blessed to work with great people and leaders. All those expe- riences really made me the person I am today and prepared me for the job her in Convent.”
A self-described team player who believes the best performance comes through col- laboration and empowering the workforce, Bourgogne has both short-term and long- term goals for the re nery. Much of this  rst month has been spent understanding and connecting with the employees on site – a task that’s even more important now, consid- ering what’s transpired in the last few weeks. Beyond that, Bourgogne will play a major role increasing the integration between the Norco and Convent re neries.

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