South Louisiana Methanol LP will invest $1.3 billion to develop a new methanol production facility on the banks of the Mississippi River in St. James Parish. Located across the river from the Nucor Corp’s project in Convent, La., the South Louisiana Methanol will create 63 jobs. Louisiana Economic Development also estimates the project will result in 374 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 430 new jobs for the area.
Austin, Texas-based Zero Emission Energy Plant Ltd. and New Zealand-based Todd Corp. are joint owners of the project. Methanol is used by manufacturers to produce everyday goods, such as plastics, polyester fibers and fabrics, pesticides, fuel additives, pharmaceuticals and adhesives for the wood products industry. The SLM methanol facility will be located in the Port of South Louisiana district, with access to interstate and intrastate natural gas and carbon dioxide pipelines.
Gov. Bobby Jindal said, "Today is a great day for St. James Parish and our entire state. The inexpensive price and high inventories of natural gas in Louisiana – coupled with our incomparable workforce and strong business climate – helped make it clear to South Louisiana Methanol that Louisiana is the best place to invest and create jobs. St. James Parish’s location on the Mississippi River places it at the heart of Louisiana’s advanced petrochemical manufacturing sector, complete with easy access to a world-class interstate pipeline network and global shipping infrastructure. South Louisiana Methanol’s investment is the latest example of the renaissance our energy and chemical industries are experiencing today, which is creating thousands of good-paying jobs for our people."
ZEEP and Todd Corp. said they chose St. James Parish for the new facility because of the state’s strong business climate and the high inventories and inexpensive price of natural gas in Louisiana, as well as the area’s strategic shipping location at the Port of South Louisiana.
“Louisiana offers a high-quality energy workforce, access to abundant natural gas, and a strong network of pipelines and transportation facilities, which makes it an ideal partner for the production and distribution of methanol,” South Louisiana Methanol CEO Barry Williamson said. “We will utilize proven technology, to build the largest methanol plant in North America, which will consume CO2 for a more efficient process, ensuring strong environmental stewardship.”
LED began working with ZEEP on the South Louisiana Methanol project in February 2012. As part of incentives to secure the project, the state will offer an incentive package that includes a $5 million performance-based grant for infrastructure costs, and the services of Louisiana’s workforce development program, LED FastStart. In addition, the company is expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
Construction of the project will begin in the fourth quarter of 2013, with hiring expected to begin in early 2015 and commercial operations of the South Louisiana Methanol facility to start in mid-2016.