SunGas Renewables is considering an investment of approximately $1.8 billion to establish a renewable low-carbon methanol production facility in Rapides Parish, Louisiana. An independent division of GTI Energy, the company projects its Pineville facility — dubbed Beaver Lake Renewable Energy (BLRE) — would manufacture nearly 400,000 metric tons of green methanol per year for SunGas customers worldwide.
If the project moves forward as outlined, the company expects to create 109 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of more than $78,000. SunGas also anticipates the creation of about 1,150 construction jobs at peak construction. Louisiana Economic Development (LED) estimates the project would result in an additional 390 new indirect jobs, for a total of 499 new jobs in central Louisiana.
“Using biomass from sustainably managed forestry along with carbon capture allows our project to generate green marine shipping fuel while simultaneously removing carbon from the atmosphere,” said SunGas Renewables CEO Robert Rigdon. “As we continue our mission to make a meaningful impact in the energy transition, we look forward to collaborating with all our project partners and the state of Louisiana to construct and operate this important project. This incredible effort happening right here in Pineville will be an innovative and industry leading low-carbon energy solution that will help fuel a better world.”
“As we continue our mission to make a meaningful impact in the energy transition, we look forward to collaborating with all our project partners and the state of Louisiana to construct and operate this important project. This incredible effort happening right here in Pineville will be an innovative and industry leading low-carbon energy solution that will help fuel a better world.”
— Robert Rigdon, CEO, SunGas Renewables
BLRE would be built at the site of the former International Paper facility, which has been vacant since 2009. A front-end engineering and design (FEED) study on the site is planned in October. The company expects to make a final investment decision in August 2024, and to begin construction beginning by the end of that year. It anticipates commercial operations to commence in 2027.
To support the project in Pineville, Louisiana has prepared an incentives package that includes the workforce development solutions of LED FastStart and a $6 million performance-based grant for infrastructure improvements upon meeting investment and employment targets. If the project moves forward, the company is expected to participate in the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
“As the only state in the Gulf South with a climate action plan, Louisiana is a global leader in the energy transition and companies like SunGas Renewables have taken notice,” said Governor John Bel Edwards. “I applaud SunGas Renewables for pursuing this massive investment that would create quality, high-paying jobs in central Louisiana for our talented workers. If it moves forward, this project will be another milestone in our efforts to grow and diversify our economy. The state will continue to support the company’s efforts to bring it to completion.”
Green methanol is a low-carbon fuel that is made from carbon dioxide and either biomass or renewable electricity. Fuel produced by BLRE would source wood fiber from local timber and have a negative carbon intensity as a result of the facility’s planned use of carbon capture and storage at a sequestration site to be determined, the company says.
The Danish shipping and logistics company A.P. Moller-Maersk has signed a letter of intent for an offtake agreement with SunGas to purchase fuel from the proposed Pineville facility for its fleet of methanol-powered container vessels.
“The formation of Beaver Lake Renewable Energy is a testament to Louisiana’s determination to address climate change and foster sustainable economic growth,” said Richard Cornelison, director of marketing and economic development for Cleco Power. “Cleco is proud to have played a part in creating an environment that attracts pioneering clean energy projects like BLRE. We remain dedicated to providing reliable, clean electricity and supporting initiatives that contribute to a better and more sustainable future.”
SLB Investing $18.5M In Former GM Plant
In Shreveport, SLB will establish a manufacturing facility in a former General Motors assembly plant. The new Caddo Parish facility will leverage the global technology company’s capabilities in contract manufacturing, system integration and industrialization of digital infrastructure equipment that support its core mission of energy innovation for a balanced planet.
The company’s $18.5 million investment is expected to create 596 new direct jobs with an annual payroll of more than $50 million over the next three years. LED estimates the project will result in an additional 749 new indirect jobs, for a total of 1,345 new jobs in the Northwest Region.
Earlier this month, SLB signed a seven-year lease agreement with Shreveport Business Park to renovate and occupy the 1 million square-feet of the former GM plant that has been vacant since 2012. SLB expects renovations to be complete early next year. Production is estimated to reach full capacity by the end of 2026.
To secure the project in Shreveport, Louisiana offered SLB a competitive incentives package which includes LED FastStart and a $4.5 million performance-based grant for building and infrastructure improvements upon meeting investment and employment targets. The company is expected to participate in the state’s Quality Jobs program.
“LED and its nationally recognized workforce development program FastStart will be an important partner in helping us to find and train the skilled workforce that will make this project a success,” said Bruce Miller, SLB’s Vice President of Industry Affairs for North America. “We would also like to thank NLEP for their team’s responsiveness and dedication throughout this process. We look forward to creating hundreds of quality jobs locally, and to becoming a valued part of the Shreveport community.”