A Texas startup plans a $2 billion natural gas liquefaction plant and export terminal near Lake Charles, Gov. Bobby Jindal said Tuesday.
The news came six days after the collapse in world oil prices prompted Sasol, of South Africa, to announce a delay in final investment plans for a $14 billion plant in the same area to convert natural gas to diesel and other liquid fuels.
The Live Oak LNG plant will create 100 new jobs averaging $75,000 a year, plus an average of 550 construction jobs, peaking at 1,000, Chairman Martin Houston said in a news release.
“Our team has over 100 years of LNG experience, our project is well researched, we are fully funded through to final investment decision, and we are supported by world class experts and suppliers,” he said.
The statement said Live Oak will apply for permits within weeks and expects to open in late 2019.
Houston, who retired in 2013 as chief operating officer of BG Group PLC, is also chief operating officer of Live Oak’s parent, Parallax Energy LLP of Houston. Parallax was launched in October to develop global LNG projects and a natural gas supply and trading business.
The plant is planned for about 350 acres on the west bank of the Calcasieu Ship Channel, the waterway where Sasol plans to build its plant.
It will be designed for a plant capacity of up to 5 million metric tons per year and will include two storage tanks able to hold 130,000 cubic meters of liquefied natural gas and port facilities for standard LNG carriers, according to the state.
Live Oak said it has awarded Bechtel a contract for pre-engineering design and Chart Industries has been chosen for process design work.
State economic development director Gary Perilloux said Louisiana offered its standard incentive package for industries that pay well: a break on local property taxes and a cash rebate of 5 percent to 6 percent of annual gross payroll for new, direct jobs. Each incentive lasts up to 10 years.
Sasol’s announcement last Wednesday said construction on an $8 billion “ethane cracker” at its complex near Lake Charles will continue and it will evaluate the possibility of phasing in the gas-to-liquid plant.