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Monday, December 22, 2014
Southwest Louisiana ,
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Juniper GTL plans to invest $100 million to transform a dormant steam methane reformer in Louisiana into a natural gas-to-liquids facility. (Photo courtesy of 
freedigitalphotos.net.)

Juniper GTL plans to invest $100 million to transform a dormant steam methane reformer in Louisiana into a natural gas-to-liquids facility. (Photo courtesy of
freedigitalphotos.net.)

Juniper GTL gets financial boost

Last Modified: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 10:16 AM

By Frank DiCesare / American Press

The Juniper GTL project got a boost in funds this week in the form of a joint venture with an Indiana-based petrochemical company.

Officials from Calumet Specialty Product Partners announced on Monday their intent to invest $25 million in the project in exchange for an equity investment of about 22 percent in Juniper GTL. Calumet’s investment will help fund Juniper’s construction, which is slated to begin this fall.

James Davis, senior vice president of SGC Energia, Juniper’s parent company, said Calumet will join Juniper’s owners team, which includes Houston-based Great Northern Project Development. Based in Indianapolis, Calumet is an independent producer of specialty hydrocarbons.

“The owner’s team will pay for the project through a combination of equity and senior secured debt,” Davis said. “It was a very good commitment of (Calumet’s) capital funds, and it’s especially indicative of their confidence in what we are doing, and that it’s actually going to work.” 

Juniper GTL’s facility will be built on the former Praxair site in Westlake and is expected to produce about 1,100 barrels a day of diesels, waxes and naphtha. The estimated $135 million project is expected to create 29 direct jobs, paying an average of $85,000 a year, plus benefits. The Louisiana Economic Development Department has estimated that the facility will create 112 indirect jobs.

Calumet takes crude oil and other feedstocks and produces customized lubricating oils, solvents and waxes for consumer, industrial and automotive products. The company also produces gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.

“(Calumet) has done some significant due diligence ever since we started talking to them,” Davis said. “They have been looking at this marketplace for a long time. They see this as another really nice piece in their portfolio.” 

Davis said Juniper’s preliminary fieldwork, which began in April, is now about 50 percent complete. Juniper officials are also looking to refurbish Praxair’s steam methane reformer, which was among the equipment that Praxair sold to Juniper, along with the land, last June. 

The steam methane reformer will be at the heart of Juniper’s daily operations, converting natural gas into synthesis gas, a combination of hydrogen and carbon monoxide that is used to make products such as methanol and ammonia.

In a news release, Jennifer Straumins, president and COO of Calumet, said the joint venture with the Juniper GTL project will allow Calumet “to lead a growing market that converts lower-cost natural gas into higher value liquids.”

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