Cool Planet Energy Systems will build three bio-refineries in Louisiana
with a capital investment of $168 million. The project will consist of construction of modular biomass-to-gasoline refineries in Alexandria and Natchitoches, along with a site that has yet to be determined.
Louisiana Economic Development said the project will create 72 new direct jobs. The company estimates 750 construction jobs will also be created by the project.
“Cool Planet chose Louisiana for multiple reasons, including abundant renewable feedstock supply and a business-friendly attitude toward innovative companies like ours,” Cool Planet Energy Systems CEO Howard Janzen said. “The support we have seen here enhances our unique distributed production model, which envisions locating small bio-refineries near biomass sources to keep both operating and capital costs low. Our goal is to have operating and capital costs that are competitive with conventional oil industry gasoline production costs.”
Gov. Bobby Jindal said, “These bio-refineries are great news for Alexandria, Natchitoches and our entire state. Cool Planet could have invested anywhere in the world, but they chose our state because of our strong business climate, vast oil and gas infrastructure and our world-class energy workforce. “
Cool Planet will begin construction in January 2014, with the first site at the Port of Alexandria beginning operations in late 2014. Construction will begin on the second bio-refinery at the Port of Natchitoches by the summer of 2015, with a completion date in the summer of 2016. The third site is scheduled to come online in late 2016 at a Louisiana site to be determined. Cool Planet also will establish a regional office at the Port of Alexandria, where the City of Alexandria plans to make more than $500,000 in infrastructure improvements.
The City of Alexandria will provide gas, water, sewer and electrical upgrades, along with road improvements at the 30-acre Port of Alexandria site. Upriver from Alexandria, the Natchitoches Parish Port will provide a Red River site for Cool Planet’s second bio-refinery in Louisiana.
To secure the project, Louisiana offered the company a competitive incentive package that includes a $750,000 Economic Development Award Program grant to offset infrastructure costs, along with the services of LED FastStart, the state’s workforce training program. Cool Planet also is expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
“Cool Planet’s decision to invest in Central Louisiana reinforces two important messages,” said President Jim Clinton of the Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. “First, Central Louisiana is a great location for making things. And second, Central Louisiana is emerging as a national leader in high-tech biomass and renewable energy applications.”
“North Louisiana Economic Partnership and the Natchitoches community are pleased to welcome Cool Planet Energy Systems to North Louisiana,” NLEP President Scott Martinez said. “Cool Planet’s environmentally friendly bio-refineries produce more than just fuel from wood waste, the plants produce much-needed jobs for the area.”