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Formosa Petrochemical Corp. Plans Feasibility Study For $9.4 Billion Complex In St James Parish, Louisiana

Formosa Petrochemical Corp. is studying the feasibility of building an estimated $9.4 billion industrial complex in St. James Parish, Louisiana. The company would build its project in two phases producing ethylene and a host of downstream chemical products.

According to Louisiana Economic Development, a final investment decision is expected by mid-2016, which will determine the final capital investment figure for the project. Its estimated that the Formosa project would create 1,200 new jobs.

Upon completion of both phases of the project, which would be built on the west bank of the Mississippi River near the Gramercy bridge, Taiwan-based Formosa would have developed one of the largest, single-site ethylene production complexes in the world, LED officials said.

Formosa Petrochemical Corp., a member of the Formosa Group, would develop the project with an ethane cracker and downstream plants in an initial phase, followed by a doubling of those capacities in the second phase. The facility would convert ethane to ethylene and then produce polyethylene, with customized outputs of low- and high-density polyethylene, ethylene glycol, polypropylene and other derivatives. Formosa Group has operated in Louisiana since 1981, with three plastics manufacturing locations in East Baton Rouge and Pointe Coupee parishes.

“Formosa Petrochemical Corp. has been dedicated to the petrochemical industry for decades,” said company Chairman Bao-Lang Chen. “We believe strategic growth in petrochemicals in the future will be in the U.S., especially in Louisiana. It is the right and perfect location for our company’s next development base. With our experience, we will not only focus on the industry itself to improve economics, but also take serious consideration of environmental issues.”

To secure the project, the State of Louisiana offered a competitive incentive package that would include a $12 million performance-based grant to offset infrastructure costs, with the grant to be paid in four equal annual installments beginning in 2018, the first year of hiring for the project. Formosa also would receive the services LED FastStart, and the company would expect to utilize Louisiana’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.

Should the company make a final investment decision to proceed with the project, Formosa would move forward with construction and development of the initial phase beginning in 2016, with plant hiring starting in 2018. The second-phase ethane cracker and downstream chemical plants would begin construction in 2022, following completion of the first phase.

“Louisiana’s industrial renaissance has brought us this potential major investment by Formosa Petrochemical Corporation,” said St. James Parish President Timmy Roussel. “This large industrial complex will add value and become part of our economic family in St. James Parish. I, as parish president, want to see them become successful in St. James while helping improve life situations for more of our residents through well-paying jobs.”

“Formosa’s desire to develop a new world-scale chemical complex in Louisiana excites us on a number of levels. This tremendous capital investment signals that the many reforms we have installed to improve Louisiana’s business climate are succeeding — from our tax structure to workforce development programs to school choice and governmental ethics. This project also is a testament to Louisiana’s ability to deliver world-class infrastructure and logistics solutions that attract the world’s most important and innovative companies. Most important for our state, this major petrochemical investment will provide high-paying jobs for Louisiana families for generations to come. We look forward to Formosa’s final decision to embark on this game-changing project", said Governor Bobby Jindal.

“This announcement marks the first step in creating a world-class facility right here in Southeast Louisiana,” said President/CEO Michael Hecht of Greater New Orleans Inc. “The Formosa Petrochemical Corporation is part of a family of companies based in Taiwan, with operations around the globe, and is another example of the world discovering greater New Orleans.”

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