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Leucadia: Acquisition won’t affect Lake Charles plans

Last Modified: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 9:25 AM

By Lance Traweek / American Press

Leucadia National’s recent acquisition of the investment banking firm Jefferies Group will not affect Leucadia’s facility at the Port of Lake Charles, said Leucadia’s Lake Charles Clean Energy spokesman Rick Richard.

Leucadia National announced Monday it would buy Jefferies Group for about $2.8 billion in stock — a deal executives said would better position both companies for the future.

The news comes on the heels of the announcement that Lake Charles Clean Energy, a subsidiary of Leucadia, secured offtake agreements with BP Products North America, Air Products and Chemicals, and Denbury Offshore for products that will be produced at the $2.5 billion facility.

The final step for the local project is attaining third-party financing and approval of the Leucadia board.

The project will be located adjacent to the port’s bulk cargo handling facility. The partnership will reportedly result in 1,500 construction jobs over a period of three years, and officials said the plant will create 165 high-paying permanent jobs.

Also, the operation of the plant will reportedly bring 50 new full-time jobs. Construction will begin by mid-2013.

The facility will produce methanol, hydrogen, argon and carbon dioxide. BP Products will purchase most of the methanol. Air Products has agreed to buy the hydrogen and argon, and Denbury Offshore will buy 90 percent of the carbon dioxide produced by the plant.

The plant is expected to produce more than 1 million metric tons of methanol, 400,000 tons of sulfuric acid and 4.5 million tons of carbon dioxide.

The Port of Lake Charles will make $100 million worth of improvements to its Bulk Terminal No. 1 in preparation for its 25-year operating agreement with the Leucadia Energy gasification plant project.

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