BATON ROUGE, La. — Today, Gov. Bobby Jindal and Syngas Energy Holdings CEO Vas Kenyen announced the company plans to make a $360 million capital investment in a methanol plant in St. James Parish, Louisiana. Located on the west bank of the Mississippi River, the project site is approximately 10 miles south of the Sunshine Bridge. Houston-based Syngas Energy would create 86 new direct jobs, with an average annual salary of $78,600, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project would result in an additional 508 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 590 new jobs in the Southeast Region and surrounding areas. The company estimates the project also would generate more than 800 construction jobs at peak building activity.
After securing permits and making a final investment decision, Syngas anticipates beginning construction in the second quarter of 2016, with completion expected at the end of 2018 and an initial production capacity of 500,000 metric tons per year.
Gov. Jindal said, “Louisiana continues to provide one of the world’s most competitive business climates and best strategic locations for major employers in the energy industry and other sectors. We’re proud that our accomplishments as a state have positioned Louisiana as the new frontier for business opportunity. Companies like Syngas, Nucor, NuStar Energy, Yuhuang Chemical and Formosa have selected St. James Parish specifically for its host of operating advantages, and we continue to see record levels of investment and job creation in our state that will provide tremendous career opportunities for our people for years to come.”
Syngas will purchase 130 acres from NuStar Energy, which operates a major crude oil terminal and logistics complex on the Mississippi River with a capacity of 11 million barrels. NuStar also has storage and shipping capabilities for specialty liquids, such as methanol, at the St. James site, where NuStar will provide rail and barge transportation services for the Syngas project. Syngas will build additional storage capacity on its site for truck shipping of its product.
“We are happy to announce that we have decided to build and operate a 500,000-tons-per-year methanol plant in St. James Parish,” said Kenyen, citing plans to increase production to 700,000 tons per year in a later phase. “We are committed to being a good neighbor. Our goal will always be to create a higher standard of living and quality of life for our employees and for the communities in which we operate. We decided to build in Louisiana because it has a high-quality skilled workforce, a good business climate, an abundant supply of natural gas, a large network of pipelines to transport the feedstock required by our operation, facilities such as fabrication shops within a 50-mile radius – and the location offers the ability to ship the product by waterways through the Port of South Louisiana.”
“NuStar is proud to play a key role in a project that is going to be such an important economic generator for the state of Louisiana,” NuStar President and CEO Brad Barron said. “It also presents a great opportunity for NuStar to further expand our operations and services at our St. James terminal and to do business with an outstanding business partner like Syngas.”
LED began discussing a potential project with the company in June 2013. To secure the project, the State of Louisiana offered a competitive incentive package that includes the comprehensive solutions of LED FastStart®, ranked the No. 1 state workforce development program in the nation. The company also is expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
“In speaking with Syngas Energy CEO Vas Kenyen over the last couple of years, he was determined to locate in St. James Parish,” said Parish President Timmy Roussel. “Working closely with members of our community, he has me convinced that he will do his very best to hire and purchase locally as much as possible. St. James Parish is where community, business, industry and agriculture grow, work, live and prosper together.”
Syngas Energy plans to begin hiring additional senior management for the project in the first quarter of 2016, with broad hiring of operators and other plant functions beginning in the third quarter of 2017.
“The Port of South Louisiana welcomes Syngas Energy to our port. We are pleased to have had a role in having them locate in St. James Parish,” said Executive Director Paul Aucoin of the Port of South Louisiana. “Syngas Energy is joining a long and strong list of companies that are choosing to expand in Louisiana and create high-paying jobs for the people of the River Region. With its projected production of 500,000 metric tons of methanol yearly, it will further propel the Port of South Louisiana’s standing within U.S. commerce and global commerce.”
“While it is certainly true that Syngas Energy’s decision to locate in St. James Parish has been driven by excellent logistics, infrastructure and feedstock availability, we shouldn’t overlook the welcoming business environment of greater New Orleans that ties all of these attractive factors together,” said Greater New Orleans Inc. President and CEO Michael Hecht. “With this in mind, GNO Inc. looks forward to continuing to work with Syngas to ensure they have all the support they need to make their project a great success.”
About Syngas Energy
Syngas Energy Holdings LLC was formed in 2012 to develop, build and operate alternative energy projects using both renewable and fossil fuels. Its first project is a methanol plant. It is strategically located on the banks of the Mississippi River in St. James Parish, Louisiana, and is connected to pipelines for supply of feedstocks. In this plant, methanol will be produced using natural gas, a resource abundantly available in Louisiana. For more information, visit SyngasEnergy.net.