WESTLAKE, LA (FOX44) — Today Sasol Ltd. Announced plans to invest between $16 billion and $21 billion in an integrated GTL and ethane cracker complex in Westlake. The facility is expected to create roughly 1,253 direct jobs and roughly 5,886 indirect jobs.
The historic project is double the size of the capital investment originally announced by Governor Jindal and Sasol back in September 2011.
Including direct and indirect effects, the Sasol project will produce a total economic impact over the next 20 years of $46.2 billion, according to an economic impact study commissioned by LED and completed by the LSU Division of Economic Development. The project is also expected to create roughly 7,000 construction jobs.
“Today is a great day for Westlake, Calcasieu Parish and our entire state,” Governor Bobby Jindal said. “Today’s announcement is not only one of the most exciting announcements in the history of Southwest Louisiana, but one of the most significant economic development wins our state – and our nation – has ever recorded."
The GTL facility, the first of its kind in the U.S., will produce high quality transportation fuels, including GTL diesel, as well as other value-adding chemical products. GTL diesel is a cleaner-burning, high-performance fuel with significant emission reduction benefits. GTL diesel can be used in existing vehicles and fuel delivery infrastructure without modifications.
“Utilizing Sasol’s innovative energy and chemicals technologies, these planned projects will unlock the potential of the continent’s abundant natural gas resources,” David Constable, Sasol Ltd. CEO, said. “By incorporating GTL technology into the USA’s energy mix, states such as Louisiana will be able to advance the country’s energy independence, through a diversification of supply.
Hiring for the GTL and ethane cracker facilities will begin in 2014. Operations for the first plant are expected to start in 2017, with full employment reached within two years after commercial operations begin. The average salary for a full time employee will be $88,000, plus benefits.