BATON ROUGE, La. — Today, Gov. Bobby Jindal and CEO John H. Armbrust of Florida Fuel Connection LLC announced the company will make a $75 million capital investment in Louisiana and build a petroleum terminal and rail transportation facility in East Feliciana Parish, near the Mississippi River. The complex will provide a starting point for the shipment of gasoline and other fuels via rail to Florida, which lacks pipeline connections to regional oil refineries and primarily imports its fuel stocks by marine vessels.
The project in East Feliciana Parish will create 50 new direct jobs at an average annual salary of $70,000, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project also will result in 137 new indirect jobs, for a total of 187 jobs in the Capital Region and surrounding areas. In addition, the company expects the project to generate 200 construction jobs.
Gov. Jindal said, “This is an exciting project for Louisiana, pairing energy and logistics to create more than 180 new jobs for the Capital Region. We welcome Florida Fuel Connection, which recognized the value of developing a strategic logistics facility in Louisiana to deliver high-demand petroleum products for suppliers in the Southeast. This project will help stabilize volatile fuel prices for Florida consumers. Best of all, it creates great jobs and an important economic boost for East Feliciana Parish. We are proud that Louisiana’s distinction as a great energy-producing state continues to help solve our nation’s long-term energy needs.”
The company plans to transport gasoline, jet fuel and diesel from Colonial Pipeline’s system near Baton Rouge, and its new transportation facility will link the Colonial pipeline to existing rail lines to facilitate fuel delivery across the Gulf Coast to distribution points in Florida and Georgia.
“FFC will have the ability to take petroleum product off the Colonial Pipeline in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and for the first time, Florida and southeast Georgia consumers will benefit from a land bridge that transports petroleum from the major refining centers in the U.S. Gulf Coast that will reduce market volatility and the likelihood of supply shortages,” Armbrust said. “Importantly, maintaining a dependable supply of petroleum products is especially critical for first responders and government agencies responding to major weather events or other natural disasters.”
The company will engage rail transport services that will constitute a “land bridge” augmenting the current marine delivery system for a portion of the estimated 10 billion gallons of petroleum products consumed annually in Florida. FFC anticipates being fully operational by the first quarter of 2017 and at its peak will transport 240,000 barrels per day of petroleum product into Florida and southeast Georgia, including gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel. The East Feliciana Parish terminal represents a portion of an overall $300 million capital investment the FFC partners expect to make from end to end.
LED began discussing a potential project with the company in January 2015. To secure the project, the state offered an incentive package that includes the Enterprise Zone program. Enterprise Zone benefits include a tax credit of $2,500 per qualifying new permanent full-time job created and either a tax credit on qualified capital expenditures or a rebate of state sales taxes paid on construction materials used exclusively on site during construction.
“The directors of the Feliciana Regional Business & Industry Council have been working directly with state Rep. Kenny Havard and Mayor Robert Jackson of Slaughter on this outstanding project with Florida Fuel Connection,” FRBIC President Tom Moriarty said. “Over the past year we have seen this grow from what some would say is a pipe dream to reality. It is a tremendous opportunity for our region and our community. We are committed to making our region a viable player in the industrial and commercial markets. We are open for business and look forward to moving on the next project.”
“BRAC welcomes Florida Fuel Connection to the Baton Rouge area,” said President and CEO Adam Knapp of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. “The company’s selection of the Slaughter vicinity for its off-load facility will facilitate efficient shipment of its products and also paves the way for additional industrial developments in East and West Feliciana.”
About Florida Fuel Connection
FFC is incorporated in the state of Florida and supported by strategic infrastructure partners, CSX Transportation and South Central Florida Express Inc. For more information, visit FloridaFuelConnection.com.