On Thursday, Magnolia Life, an Australia company, announced it would construct a $2.2 billion facility on the Industrial Canal to export liquified natural gas. The company said it might eventually double the size of its facility. (Rick Hickman / American Press)
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 12:44 PM
Like manna from heaven, bountiful good economic news continues to abound in Southwest Louisiana.
Within a 48-hour period, two new liquified natural gas projects totaling $3.5 billion, were announced for Calcasieu Parish. And a source told the American Press that another major economic announcement is likely to be forthcoming in the next few days.
Houston-based G2X Energy said Tuesday it would build a $1.3 billion natural-gas-to-gasoline plant on Port of Lake Charles property on the Industrial canal south of Lake Charles. On Thursday, Magnolia LNG, an Australia company, announced it would construct a $2.2 billion facility on the Industrial Canal to export liquified natural gas. The company said it might eventually double the size of its facility.
All of this pales in comparison to Sasol’s behemoth proposal to build a $21 billion gas-to-liquid facility in Westlake. And it comes on top of the plans of Cheniere, Sempra and Trunkline to convert their existing LNG plants — all at the cost of between $4 billion and $6 billion apiece — for export.
One analyst has said Southwest Louisiana could see $40 billion worth of capital investments in new and existing energy-related facilities in the next 5-to-7 seven years.
The vast majority of other economic announcements being made around the state look like chump change compared to our area’s looming bonanza.
The abundance of natural gas and the existing pipeline infrastructure here required to transport it is the driving force behind this economic surge.
David Dismukes, a Ph.D at the center for Energy Studies at LSU, said the plantiful supply of natural gas has led to a ‘‘virtual manufacturing renaissance in Louisiana.’’
Natural gas, then, is the raw material. But it isn’t the lone component.
Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret and his staff deserve laurels for putting together favorable incentive packages that have helped lure these companies to the state.
And, on a local level, Bill Rase, executive director of the Port of Lake Charles, his staff and port board commissioners, and George Swift, president and CEO of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, and his staff merit a pat on the back for their work in helping to close these deals.
This coming construction boom that will attract thousands of craftsmen will undoubtedly strain housing, infrastructure and roads during peak times. Those, though, are headaches worth having. What community wouldn’t want those issues spawned by such an economic gold mine?
This coming economic swell will likely not only be the envy of this state, but of this nation.
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This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Ken Stickney, Jim Beam, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.