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Juniper GTL to invest $100 million for facility in Westlake area

Last Modified: Thursday, September 05, 2013 10:19 PM

By Frank DiCesare / American Press

A Texas-based petrochemical company on Thursday said it plans to build a natural gas-to-liquids facility in Westlake that would bring more than 140 jobs to the area.

Juniper GTL of Houston will convert a dormant steam methane reformer in Westlake to a GTL plant that will produce clean waxes, drilling fuels, diesel and naptha. The methane reformer was previously owned by Praxair Inc.

The Louisiana Economic Development Department said Juniper GTL’s $100 million project will create 29 direct jobs, which will pay an average of $85,000 a year, plus benefits. LED also estimated that the facility will create 112 indirect jobs.

“This is helping to put Southwest Louisiana on the map with new, cutting-edge energy production,” said George Swift, president and CEO of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. “It adds to our regional portfolio.”

Gov. Bobby Jindal said the Juniper project is Louisiana’s third GTL win for the region.

“Juniper GTL could have built this project in Texas or other locations, but the company chose Louisiana because they know our state offers the most competitive site and workforce advantages in the world,” Jindal said in a news release.

“Our commitment to raising Louisiana’s competitiveness continues to bring more great new career opportunities to the people of Louisiana every day.”

Juniper GTL President Vianney Valès said his company secured the air permit for the new facility in July, allowing them to break ground on the project this month.

“We found in Louisiana the business environment we needed for Juniper GTL,” Valès said in a news release. “We are also receiving excellent support from the state and local authorities on questions related to the environment, which is a priority for us.”

Touted as “the first commercial GTL facility to start construction in the United States,” Juniper GTL was the brainchild of venture partners SGC Energia SA of Portugal and Houston-based Great Northern Project Development LP.

Construction and the hiring of management have begun. Additional hiring is expected to take place as construction draws to an end in early 2015.

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