A major announcement came today from Sasol that could have a huge economic impact on Southwest Louisiana. Governor Bobby Jindal was at the chemical plant to tell about an industry that would be the first of it's kind in North America.
America has long recognized the need to reduce its dependence on foreign oil-- and the gas-to- liquids facility Sasol is planning could be part of the solution. Jindal says it could wind up being the biggest economic development the state of Louisiana has seen.
Business and government leaders from throughout Southwest Louisiana gathered to hear the big announcement-- from Sasol and the governor. The facility would add 850 permanent jobs and mean 5000 construction jobs at the height of the project.
Said Jindal, "We're here to make an announcement that could result in Louisiana's largest economic development project in our state's entire history. Sasol Limited could be investing between $8 to $10 Billion dollars. Not million dollars. $8 to $10 ten billion dollars in a new gas to liquids complex right here in the Westlake Lake Charles area."
Sasol will do a feasibility study that last up to eighteen months before deciding where to locate the facility. But Jindal is confident they'll choose Southwest Louisiana. He told the crowd, "This isn't just a tentative commitment. The company is spending tens of millions of dollars to see that it makes sense to come and built right here in Southwest Louisiana. We have won the first round and now we've got to get the ball in the end zone. They've already selected us over any other state in America. Now we've got to score the final touchdown and I've no doubt that we will do that."
Sasol's managing director Ernst Oberholster says the technology helps unlock the potential for Louisiana's abundant natural gas resources and advance energy independence. "You add significant investment, you add quality jobs and you turn that into a fuel or a quality product which you don't have to import. Now that makes, I believe, sense for the USA, specifically for the State of Louisiana."
Plus he says it's cost efficient and environmentally friendly. "The fuel that we produce from gas looks like just water. If you pour it into a vessel it looks just like water, just don't drink it. Please, it's clearly potent. But it's a clean fuel, a high quality fuel."
He says it can be used in existing vehicles and fuel delivery systems. The feasibility study will consider two options: a two million ton per year facility or twice that.
There's no decision yet, where the facility would be located, but Sasol officials say there is available land within their current plant fence line available for expansion-- and that they have an option to buy more land next to their existing plant if needed.
For more information visit www.sasolGTL.com