Liquefied natural gas company receives approval for lease in LC

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - An Australian-based liquefied natural gas company is one step closer to making Lake Charles a new home. The company, Magnolia LNG, is said to bring a number of economic benefits to the area.

A special board meeting was held Wednesday night to approve the lease agreement between the Port and Magnolia LNG.

Magnolia LNG managing director Maurice Brand said the approval means the company can take further steps toward beginning work at the port's industrial canal.

"Today we have executed a four-year option to lease the property," Brand said. "From there, we will commence the approval process for permitting and once that is completed, we will exercise the lease which will be an initial term of 30 years."

The liquefied natural gas plant will use 90 acres at the industrial canal. Port Executive Director Bill Rase said the investment will bring in $2.2 billion.

Along with a financial investment, Magnolia LNG will also bring jobs to the area.

"I think it will be around 300 to 400 jobs during construction, and after construction, it's going to have between 70 and 80 full-time positions," Rase said.

Brand said the company is on schedule and looks forward to working with the port.

"Lake Charles is a great area because particularly that area has been used to having LNG ships come through," Brand said. "It's really set up environmentally approval-wise to accommodate LNG. It's something we can contribute to the community very quickly."

Brand said he believes the company can begin construction during the first quarter of 2015 and be finished in late 2017.

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