Magnolia LNG opens Lake Charles office

By By Frank DiCesare / American Press

Local business and political leaders gathered at the CapitalOne tower on Thursday for the official opening of Magnolia LNG’s Lake Charles office.

More than 70 guests packed the 1,800-square-foot office, which will serve as Magnolia’s representative office while the company’s LNG plant is under construction. Once Magnolia LNG is online, the company will construct an administrative building on site and move its local personnel over from the CapitalOne tower.

Magnolia LNG President Maurice Brand said his company’s move into the CapitalOne tower is the first step in establishing a local presence. “The office here is designed to reach out to the community for issues that they want to discuss with our people. It’s important to be a good citizen locally, and we want to build a relationship with the local community.”

Brand also said Magnolia is looking to employ between 50 and 70 full-time people at their new plant. He added that his company is “really keen” on recruiting all of the plant’s technical people from Southwest Louisiana’s technical colleges.

“Our expectation is, apart from the site construction, there will be a lot of fabrication required, and it’s likely that most of that fabrication will be done by Dynamic Industries, which happens to be next to the site,” Brand said. “There could be another 400 or 500 people needed in that category.”

Ernie Megginson, Magnolia’s vice president of project management, said Magnolia’s Houston office will remain the headquarters for all engineering work. The company’s new Lake Charles office, he added, will be the place for people to ask questions about the project or to apply for a job with Magnolia.  “It’s part of our desire to be interactive with the community and provide information as needed,” Megginson said. 

Magnolia’s new office opening came just one day after company officials announced it had signed a precedent agreement with Kinder Morgan Louisiana Pipeline, LLC. The binding agreement secures Magnolia’s gas transportation service rights on the pipeline. The agreement gives Magnolia access on the pipeline so their tolling parties can transport natural gas to Magnolia’s facility.

“We tell our tolling parties when they secure their gas supply there are certain interconnection points on that pipeline,” Megginson said. “They can then secure their gas supply and drop it into the Kinder Morgan Louisiana Pipeline at those specific interconnection points.”

Magnolia’s estimated $3.5 billion project will be built on 120 acres near the intersection of Henry Pugh Boulevard and Big Lake Road in Lake Charles. The project will consist of four LNG trains, each of which will produce 2 million tons per year of LNG. Once liquefied, the LNG will be stored in two, 160,000-cubic-meter cryogenic tanks. The facility will also have a berth jetty where ships will dock to receive LNG from the plant for export.