NEW YORK — The State of Louisiana and Shandong Yuhuang Chemical Group jointly received an Outstanding FDI Partnership Award on Monday night, with the annual Foreign Direct Investment honor presented by the China General Chamber of Commerce at its 2019 Annual Gala in New York. Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson and company executive Charlie Yao accepted the award.
Yao serves as CEO of Yuhuang Chemical Industries Inc., a subsidiary of China-based Shandong Yuhuang Chemical Group Co. Ltd. After selecting Louisiana for a major methanol production complex, Yuhuang Chemical began building a world-scale methanol facility two years ago as part of a $1.85 billion project that ultimately will include three phases. In addition to creating 200 direct jobs with an average annual salary of $85,000, plus benefits, the Yuhuang Chemical project will result in an estimated 1,250 new indirect jobs and will generate 2,100 construction jobs at peak building activity. YCI Methanol One, being completed with joint venture partner Koch Methanol Investments LLC, is the first phase of the project and will include 100 permanent direct jobs after creating 1,500 construction jobs.
“The YCI Methanol One project in St. James Parish, Louisiana, is one of the largest Chinese foreign direct investment projects in the U.S.,” said Yao, a former senior manager for Royal Dutch Shell companies. “The project has completed its engineering design and equipment procurement, and it is now in full-swing construction. We expect the project to be completed by mid-2020. The success of this project is a showcase that Louisiana is a great place for large-scale domestic and foreign investments, taking advantage of abundant natural gas and mature industrial infrastructure.”
Louisiana Economic Development assisted Shandong Yuhuang, headquartered in Heze City, China, through multiple prospect trips to China and return visits by Chinese executives to Louisiana. Support from the State of Louisiana included GIS-enabled site selection intelligence on the technology side, assistance that led the company to choose a more than 1,200-acre greenfield site in St. James Parish. In partnership with parish leaders, Yuhuang Chemical also acquired the former St. James High School, a purchase that defrayed capital costs for the new St. James High School that opened in 2018 in Vacherie. LED continues to support the recruitment of process industry professionals for Yuhuang Chemical through Louisiana’s LED FastStart® program, which has ranked as the No. 1 state workforce training program in the U.S. for nine consecutive years.
“In Louisiana, we always have prided ourselves in being a welcoming state founded upon international commerce principles that promise prosperity for all who contribute significantly to the betterment of our state,” Pierson said. “Yuhuang Chemical will ship methanol to China for downstream plastics manufacturing, but much of its methanol will remain with domestic manufacturers in the U.S. And 100 percent of the capital investment, job creation and business purchases in our state will help create a better quality of life for St. James Parish and for Louisiana. In Shandong Yuhuang Chemical Group, we have found an industrial partner committed to raising the quality of life in our state, as they also raise the quality of their business. In a nutshell, this is what a true FDI partnership looks like, and we are proud to have attracted this landmark project to Louisiana.”
Chairman Chen Xu of the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce-USA presented the Outstanding FDI Partnership Award to Pierson and Yao.
“Tonight is a night of celebration and appreciation, that of old friendships, and even new friendships that have bonded together through business, politics or cultural exchanges,” Xu said. “As U.S.-China trade and economic relations have intensified over the last year, I find our presence here today even more critical than ever. While the relationship has become more complex and markets are facing volatility and uncertainty, this evening is a true testament to your commitment to dialogue and further expanding bilateral investment relations.”
The China General Chamber of Commerce-USA, also known as CGCC, is a nonprofit that represents Chinese enterprises in the U.S. and serves as a bridge between the business communities of the U.S. and China. Founded in 2005, CGCC is a nationwide organization in the U.S., with a membership consisting of 1,500 Chinese and U.S. companies, 54 of which are ranked on the 2018 Fortune Global 500. As of 2018, CGCC Chinese member-companies have cumulatively invested over $120 billion in the U.S., where they directly employ more than 200,000 individuals and indirectly support more than 1,000,000 jobs. For more about the CGCC 2019 Annual Gala, see the chamber’s news release. For details about the CGCC, visit cgccusa.org/en/about-us.