Westlake: Goernor Bobby Jindal and Juniper GTL LLC President Vianney Vales announced the company will invest $100 million to renovate a dormant steam methane reformer in the Westlake area and convert it to a natural gas-to-liquids facility, producing clean waxes, drilling fluids, diesel and naptha. Juniper GTL will create 29 new direct jobs averaging $85,000 per year, plus benefits. LED estimates the Westlake development will also result in an additional 112 new indirect jobs, for a total of 141 new jobs.
Southwest Louisiana is quickly becoming a hub for GTL – or gas-to-liquids – facilities. In December, Sasol announced a $16 billion to $21 billion GTL and ethane cracker complex that will be the largest manufacturing investment in Louisiana history. In January, G2X Energy announced a $1.3 billion GTL facility at the Port of Lake Charles that will yield chiefly gasoline. The Juniper GTL project, with a design production of 1,100 barrels per day of clean chemicals and transportation fuels, will be a forerunner of smaller commercial GTL plants. The Juniper GTL project will create an estimated 125 construction jobs.
Gov. Jindal said, “Louisiana continues to be at the forefront of next-generation energy solutions, and we are proud to attract yet another great foreign investment in this key sector of our state’s economy. Louisiana has now attracted three major GTL project wins to the Southwest Region because of our great energy workforce, our world-class infrastructure and our strong business climate that is rapidly rising to the top. Juniper GTL could have built this project in Texas or other locations, but the company chose Louisiana because they know our state offers the most competitive site and workforce advantages in the world. Our commitment to raising Louisiana’s competitiveness continues to bring more great new career opportunities to the people of Louisiana every day.”
Venture partners SGC Energia SA of Portugal and Houston-based Great Northern Project Development LP conceived the Juniper GTL project to produce clean fuels in a safe and economical manner. The first commercial GTL facility to start construction in the U.S., Juniper GTL will benefit from an integrated process solution that is industrially tested and supplied under the brand name XTLH® by SGC Energia and is developed by its sponsors as a platform to grow a profitable GTL business with partners. The XTLH® solution uses reliable and proven technologies.
“We found in Louisiana the business environment we needed for Juniper GTL,” Valès said. “We are also receiving excellent support from the state and local authorities on questions related to the environment, which is a priority for us. As a result, we secured the air permit for the GTL plant in July, which allowed us to break ground this month.”
LED began discussing the GTL project with SGC Energia in January. To secure the project, the state offered a competitive incentives package that includes the services of LED FastStart® – ranked the No. 1 state workforce training program in the U.S. for the past four consecutive years. The company also is expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
“The addition of the Juniper GTL plant marks an unprecedented milestone for this region and industry,” said President Shannon Spell of the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury. “With today’s announcement, Calcasieu Parish will be the only location throughout the world to house three gas-to-liquid plants, making our region a worldwide leader for this industry. The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury is excited to have Juniper GTL as a new addition to the continued growth of our business community, and we look forward to its future in terms of the impact it will have on job growth and economic contributions for Southwest Louisiana.”
“We’re really excited to see the energy production activity going on here in the Westlake area,” said Westlake Mayor Dan Cupit. “It’s a great feeling to know that we have this activity being planned and that the Governor’s energy is focused on bringing projects like this into our area. These energy-producing projects are really going to be a boon to us as time goes on.”
“We welcome Juniper GTL to our region,” said President and CEO George Swift of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. “This development continues to increase Southwest Louisiana’s importance in producing energy for our nation and the world. It is powerful that yet another international firm is investing in Louisiana. This exciting technology will revitalize an existing facility and provide quality jobs.”
Construction of Juniper GTL’s facility and management hiring, with the support of LED FastStart, is beginning now. Additional hiring will take place as the project nears completion in early 2015.