Officials confident of plant funding

<p class="p1">Despite what a recent Bloomberg article said about Trump’s budget threatening the future of Lake Charles Methanol, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Energy said the proposed budget doesn’t cut the project’s funding.</p><p class="p1">The Energy Department in March guaranteed a conditional loan for up to $2 billion for the $3.8 billion Lake Charles project, an advanced fossil fuels facility that will use petroleum coke — a dirty byproduct of refining oil — to make methanol. It will also store carbon dioxide underground in Texas to stimulate oil production and minimize emissions.</p><p class="p1">As Bloomberg notes, Trump’s budget would slash the federal loan program that backed the project. The loan program, which invests in promising new energy technologies, is seen by critics as a needless drain on federal dollars — its token failure being a $535 million loan to a California solar manufacturer that went bankrupt in 2011.</p><p class="p1">But despite the budget’s attempt to cancel the program, the federal government is still good for the Lake Charles Methanol loan, at least under Trump’s original plan.</p><p class="p1">According to Energy Department spokeswoman Jessica Szymanski, Trump’s budget would grandfather all commitments made before Oct. 1, 2017, including the Lake Charles project. The grandfather clause can be found in the appendix to the budget, in the section on the Energy Department, page 397.</p><p class="p1">Hunter Johnston, a spokesman for Lake Charles Methanol, said the decision to grandfather the project will ultimately be made by Congress. But he said project leaders remain confident that the facility will receive the federal loan as promised.</p><p class="p1">“The Lake Charles project team is following the budgetary developments closely, but we believe that the DOE will honor its commitment as we finish the process of financial close for the project,” Johnston said.</p><p class="p2"><strong>Lake Charles Methanol</strong></p><p class="p1">Lake Charles Methanol is expected to break ground sometime this year on its $3.8 billion facility, with construction taking three to four years. Johnston said project leaders are busy completing the equity process, which is required for financial close.</p><p class="p1">It will be the first facility in the U.S. to use petroleum coke to make methanol — a product used in paint, glue, plastics and formaldehyde — and the first methanol plant in the world to use carbon-capture technology.</p><p class="p1">It’s expected to produce 1,000 construction jobs, 200 full-time employees and 300 oil industry jobs.</p><p class="p1">The company has also signed a 25-year services agreement with the Port of Lake Charles for handling the products it uses in making methanol and, possibly, the methanol it produces.  </p><p class="p1">Port leaders say it will “triple the workload” at Bulk Terminal 1, the port’s biggest revenue driver.</p><p class="p1">“It’s really going to be the biggest thing that’s happened for port property for the foreseen future,” said Port Executive Director Bill Rase. “It’s going to take fossil fuel and use green technology to turn it into methanol, which is a very clean product. That’s why the (Department of Energy) is interested in it.”</p>

Business

Beauregard Health System breaks ground for new expanded emergency department

Business

LC Memorial Health preparing for hurricane season

life

Mental Health Awareness: Why it’s OK to ask for help when you’re not OK

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column: Landry scores major victory

McNeese Sports

Citizen enters Cowboy corral

Local News

Two new housing developments will cater to seniors nearing or in retirement

Local News

CPSB to host job fair in June

Local News

The late Rev. Billy Graham immortalized in statue unveiled at US Capitol

Local News

One more bout of rain tonight, Saturday morning for SW La.

Local News

City Council meeting packed over effort to put tow yard in residential area

McNeese Sports

Cowboys getting weight room upgrade

Business News

Another lawsuit filed challenging Biden’s LNG ‘pause’

Local News

Meteorologist: Another round of heavy rainfall this afternoon, tonight, tomorrow morning

Local News

Anita Falcon’s relationship with her students often reaches beyond the classroom

Crime

Local attempted murder case dropped because case wasn’t brought to trial in timely manner

Local News

Severe storms kill at least 4 in Houston, cause widespread power outages

Local News

Jeff Davis releases names of parish administrator applicants

Local News

Kennedy introduces bill to help Louisiana farmers recover from crop loss

Local News

Louisiana National Guard send third rotation to Texas border

Local News

VIDEO: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Memorial Service

Local News

Speaker Johnson: Biden, Schumer must display moral courage, support Israel

Local News

Rate hikes for utilities approved in Sulphur

life

Circles on a Mission: Second-annual charity bike ride rolls this Saturday in DeRidder

Local News

WEATHER UPDATE: Another bout of severe weather awaits SW La.