Gov. Bobby Jindal said at a news conference Monday that the Sasol project, estimated at $11 billion to $14 billion, will be the largest single manufacturing investment in the state’s history. The South African-based Sasol said it will proceed with front-end engineering and design phase for an integrated gas-to-liquids facility and a “world-scale” ethane cracker with downstream derivatives at its Westlake facility. (Lance Traweek / American Press)
Last Modified: Monday, December 03, 2012 9:08 PM
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.