Multi-billion dollar methanol project moves forward

By By Lance Traweek / American Press

The Port of Lake Charles board on Monday approved an operating agreement with Lake Charles Clean Energy for the handling and

storage of methanol — a major step in bringing the $2.6-billion project forward, a port official said.

The new submission will allow product to be exported — about one million tons per year. The port already received a 25-year

operating contract with Lake Charles Clean Energy, a subsidiary of Leucadia. The project will be located on port property

along the Calcasieu Ship Channel near the Citgo refinery.

Port Director Bill Rase has said this

is the largest project in the works at the Port and will help create

long-term sustainability

for years to come.

Rick Richard, spokesman for Clean Energy, said the working relationship with the port is vital in making the project come

to fruition.

The company has spent more than $50 million in site preparation — mainly for drainage and electricity.

“As we continue to prepare the site for

construction, the port of Lake Charles is working along with us at the

same time,”

Richard said. “This is a sign of the continuing ability of the

Port of Lake Charles to be an economic engine driver for Southwest


The three-year construction period will commence when the company attains public financing in early 2014. The project will

reportedly bring 1,500 construction jobs and 165 full-time positions.

In October 2012, the company secured offtake agreements with BP Products North America, Air Products and Chemicals and Denbury

Offshore for products that will be produced at the facility.

Lake Charles Clean Energy was awarded

$1.56 billion of Gulf Opportunity Zone, or GO Zone, and Hurricane Ike

tax-exempt bonds

by the Louisiana State Bond Commission. LCCE also received a

$261-million grant from the Department of Energy as part of an

effort to capture carbon dioxide from industrial sources for

beneficial use or storage.

LCCE received a Prevention of Significant Deterioration construction permit and an emissions operating permit earlier this