Sasol's gas-to-liquids project largest investment in state history

By By Lance Traweek / American Press

WESTLAKE — South Africa-based Sasol plans to spend up to $21 billion at its Westlake facility — the largest single manufacturing

investment in state history, officials said.

At a news conference Monday, Sasol

executives said they expect to spend $5-7 billion on a chemical plant

and eventually add

an $11-14 billion on a gas-to-liquids plant at the Westlake

facility. The projected costs recently rose by almost $6 billion

because the company decided to proceed without a partner and to

increase the number of chemicals and other products made at

the complex.

The company will continue with its plans for an integrated, gas-to-liquids facility and ethane cracker at its Westlake facility,

said Sasol CEO David Constable.

The facility will turn natural gas into

chemicals, diesel and other products. The facility, the first of its

kind in the country,

will produce 96,000 barrels of fuel per day, including GTL diesel.

Together, the gas-to-liquids facility and ethane cracker projects will create a minimum of 1,200 permanent positions, 7,000

construction jobs at peak time and thousands of indirect jobs in Louisiana and all over the country, Constable said.

“Sasol is proud to be driving forward

with the next phase of the strategic mega-projects that we have

announced today,” Constable

said. “We look forward to furthering our interests in the region,

and continuing our engagement with all our stakeholders.”

The GTL facility will be constructed in two phases. The first phase will be in operation by 2018 and the second phase in 2019.

In September 2011, Sasol announced it would begin feasibility studies to scope out the practicality of gas-to-liquids and

ethylene cracker facilities in Calcasieu Parish.

“Today we’re here to announce and talk

about a much larger project, a project representing a capital investment

of roughly

double the size of what we announced last year,” Gov. Bobby Jindal

said . “Once this project is fully up and running, Sasol

will become the largest economic driver company in all of

Southwest Louisiana, as well as one of the top 10 economic driver

companies in our entire state. It may be one of the largest

foreign direct investment manufacturing projects in the history

of the country.”

Jindal called the Sasol announcement a “game changer” for Louisiana’s future.

A final decision on the project and its cost will be announced in 2014.