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Sasol Studies $10 Billion Louisiana Gas-To-Liquids Complex

Sasol Studies $10 Billion Louisiana Gas-To-Liquids Complex

South African company Sasol has selected Calcasieu Parish in Louisiana as the location for a potential gas-to-liquids (GTL) complex that would entail a capital investment of approximately $8 billion to $10 billion and produce direct employment of approximately 850 jobs, with average salaries of about $89,000, not including benefits.

Louisiana Economic Development (LED) estimates the project also would result in approximately 4,000 indirect jobs, which means the total impact of the project would be nearly 5,000 new jobs in Southwest Louisiana. Additionally, at full production capacity, the facility would consume approximately 305 billion standard cubic feet of natural gas per year, which would represent roughly $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion per year in natural gas purchases at current prices and, accordingly, Sasol's proposed GTL complex would provide a huge new source of demand for the Haynesville Shale and other natural gas plays in Louisiana.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said, "Sasol has selected Calcasieu Parish as its preferred location in the United States for one of the largest industrial projects in Louisiana history. This is great news for Southwest Louisiana and our entire state. Not only would this project result in nearly 5,000 new jobs but it also would represent a huge new source of demand for natural gas in Louisiana, which would benefit the Haynesville Shale and other natural gas plays here."

"Louisiana has proved to be a place where research and next-generation technologies can thrive and grow," said Sasol New Business Development Managing Director Ernst Oberholster. "We believe Sasol's GTL technology can help unlock the potential of Louisiana's abundant natural gas resources and contribute to an affordable, reliable fuel supply for the United States."

Sasol's GTL complex would be the first of its kind built in the United States, with Sasol converting natural gas into synthetic gas and then converting the synthetic gas into premium diesel fuel and related products. Sasol Ltd., based in Johannesburg, has been an innovator in coal-to-liquids and gas-to-liquids refining methods since the 1950s. Its Sasol North American Inc. subsidiary currently operates the 400-employee Sasol Lake Charles Chemical Complex in Westlake, La., with that facility located next to the city's ConocoPhillips petroleum refinery.

At the Lake Charles Chemical Complex, Sasol previously announced construction of a $175 million ethylene tetramerization unit in December, and that project is under way. Sasol considered several other states before selecting Louisiana as its preferred location in the United States. The company could develop both a U.S. facility in Calcasieu Parish as well as a second facility in Canada, which also is under evaluation. Sasol plans for a design-and-engineering phase for the proposed Calcasieu Parish facility to begin soon, following the company's completion of an extensive feasibility study estimated to cost in the tens of millions. If all proceeds as planned, construction is expected to start in 2013, and the complex would be built in two phases that upon completion in 2018 would process approximately 4 million tons of products per year, with a maximum capacity of 96,000 bpd. According to Sasol, the project would create thousands of construction jobs at an average salary of $75,000.

The new facility will utilize Sasol's innovative GTL technology to convert abundant, domestic natural gas into diesel and other products in a cost-efficient and environmentally safe way, the company said. As part of America's energy mix, GTL would help the United States meet its growing transportation needs while advancing its energy independence.

"Two years ago, we identified a focused set of priority growth targets for Louisiana, including unconventional natural gas opportunities like GTL facilities," said LED Secretary Stephen Moret. "Since then, we have focused an increasing amount of our energy on cultivating relationships with the companies most likely to have the capacity and willingness to bring this type oftechnology to fruition in the United States."

For more information. Visit www.Sasolswla.com or call (337) 494-5140 .

EnonMobil Baton Rouge $150 million turnaround underway

Recently, ExxonMobil successfully lifted and placed a new 225-ton tower at a distance of approximately 430 feet away, at its Baton Rouge, La., Chemical Plant. The turnaround on the olefins unit will employ a Peak contractor work force of about 1,600, generating a payroll of more than $80 million.

ExxonMobil hired companies with strong Louisiana work forces for the turnaround, including Turner Industries, Brand Scaffolding and others. Deep South Crane, headquartered in Baton Rouge, supplied the 2,500-ton-capacity crane needed to handle lifts associated with improvements to the plant's olefins unit.

This specific turnaround project involves upgrading existing equipment to improve reliability, energy efficiency and raw material Flexibility for the plant's olefins unit. The unit produces ethylene and propylene. End uses for these products range from food packaging, trash bags and carpets to diapers, inflatable toys and football helmets.

ExxonMobil Chemical Plant Manager Paul Stratford noted the company's top priority is to execute all the work during this turnaround safely. Detailed safety plans have been prepared many months in advance and all work is continuously monitored to ensure the safety of its workers.

"These projects create jobs for local people and provide a real boost to the Baton Rouge economy. We think this is what economic development is all about," Stratford said.

For more information. Visit www.exxon mobil.com or call (225) 977-7711 .


BIC Magazine
Author: BIC Magazine, bicnews@bicalliance.com

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