NuStar Energy Plans $365-Million Expansion in Louisiana

Gov. Bobby Jindal and NuStar Energy CEO Curt Anastasio have announced a $365 million capital investment by NuStar that will expand the company’s St. James Terminal, creating 32 new direct jobs at the facility and an estimated 269 new indirect jobs in Southeast Louisiana.

The 32 new direct jobs will pay an average of $98,000 a year, which includes an all-employee bonus, plus other benefits, and NuStar will retain 23 existing jobs. NuStar Energy LP, a Fortune 500 company based in San Antonio, TX, began working on elements of the expansion last year and expects to complete the work in 2016. The project will increase NuStar’s tank storage capacity at the Mississippi River site from 8 million barrels to 11 million barrels.

Gov. Jindal said, “When I entered office, I said business retention and expansion would be our top economic development priorities. Today’s announcement shows our strong commitment to retaining and growing existing Louisiana companies so we can create more opportunities for our people here at home. NuStar’s investment also reinforces Louisiana’s well-deserved reputation as the energy gateway to North America.

“Today’s announcement is great news for St. James Parish and our state, but our work is not done yet. In order to keep our economy growing, we must continue to aggressively pursue new job opportunities and we must improve our education system to make sure our people are prepared for jobs in the 21st century workforce.

Louisiana Economic Development’s Business Expansion and Retention Group, or BERG, began working with NuStar more than a year ago to cultivate the expansion project. NuStar’s St. James Terminal provides a vital connection via pipeline and shipping with a number of major energy companies that have a presence in the area. Combined with earlier investments by NuStar and future expansion plans at the site, the company anticipates spending $505 million on capital improvement projects at the St. James Terminal over a five-year period.

“The tax benefits that NuStar will realize as part of this project are just one example of how Louisiana and St. James Parish have helped NuStar’s investments become a reality,” said Anastasio, the NuStar president and CEO. “As a result of these incentives, we are investing a total of $505 million in our terminal, which will produce tremendous benefits for the Louisiana economy, including the creation of hundreds of jobs with great pay and benefits. These expansion projects also will give our customers much greater ability to move and store production from very significant crude oil discoveries throughout the U.S.”

To attract the NuStar Energy investment, LED offered the state’s Modernization Tax Credit, which provides a 5 percent refundable tax credit, worth $3 million to NuStar over a five-year period. The company also is expected to utilize Louisiana’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption incentives.

NuStar consistently ranks among the U.S. 100 Best Companies to Work For, an annual list compiled by Fortune magazine. The magazine, which recently ranked NuStar the nation’s 15th-best employer, recognized the company for paying 100 percent of employee healthcare premiums, having a no-layoff policy to go with its exceptional benefits, and for having an extremely low employee turnover rate.

“In addition to targeting expansions of businesses that already have major operations in Louisiana, we seek economic development opportunities that have the potential to create new wealth for our state with jobs that pay exceptionally well,” LED Secretary Stephen Moret said. “With the NuStar project, we’ve hit a bull’s-eye on those targets. This project also is a great example of how our Modernization Tax Credit is encouraging Louisiana companies to improve their facilities and to place them among the most competitive to be found anywhere in the world.”

The NuStar announcement continues a hot streak for economic development in St. James Parish. In July, Southern Business & Development magazine singled out St. James for a Special Recognition Award as the parish or county within a metro area to record the best job-creation results in the entire South. Announced in 2010, a multi-phase iron and steel manufacturing project by Nucor Corp. broke ground in March, with the potential to create more than 6,000 new direct and indirect jobs and a capital investment of $3.4 billion.

That project is being built on the east bank of the Mississippi River in St. James Parish, while the NuStar terminal is located on the west bank of the river, with three docks and a maximum draft of 45 feet.

“This is all great for St. James Parish,” said Parish President Timmy Roussel. “We’re very excited about an expansion such as this. To put in that many more new jobs, it is definitely a life ring for the parish.”