Ports & Terminals

$9.4 Billion Petrochemical Complex Planned On Lower Miss

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and Keh-Yen Lin, executive vice president of Taiwan-based Formosa Petrochemical Corporation, announced April 23 Formosa’s plans to build a $9.4 billion chemical manufacturing complex in St. James Parish, La., just downriver of the Sunshine Bridge and on the west bank of the Mississippi River.

Formosa plans to build out the complex in two phases over a 10-year period, with construction possibly beginning as soon as next year, depending on the permitting process. The company has purchased a 2,400-acre site located between the Mosaic Faustina Ammonia Plant and Americas Styrenics.

Formosa Plastics Group, the parent group for the project, boasts more than 100,000 employees worldwide and already operates three facilities in Louisiana. The new complex will operate under the name FG LA LLC and is branded as “The Sunshine Project.” The Sunshine Project will employ some 8,000 total construction workers at its peak.

“For more than 50 years, the Sunshine Bridge has connected the river parishes in a strategic fashion that has enabled tremendous industrial growth and thousands of new jobs along both sides of the Mississippi River in Louisiana,” Edwards said. “The new Sunshine Project continues that bridge into a brighter economic future for Louisiana, one with an estimated 8,000 construction jobs at peak, even more permanent jobs upon completion, and a multibillion-dollar impact on earnings and business purchases for decades to come.”

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When complete, the Sunshine Project will produce ethylene, propylene, ethylene glycol and associated polymers for use in sports equipment, food packaging, clothing and healthcare and technology products. The company has established a website—www.SunshineProjectLA.com—that provides construction, employment and community resources.

“We will work to keep the community updated and informed at each stage of this project,” said Keh-Yen Lin, who serves as CEO of the project. “We welcome questions and concerns and encourage nearby residents and anyone interested in the project to visit our website at SunshineProjectLA.com.”

The complex, upon completion, will support some 1,200 new direct jobs which will pay an average annual salary of $84,500, plus benefits. The facility will be located within the jurisdiction of the Port of South Louisiana, a 54-mile port district that spans both sides of the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The Port of South Louisiana is the largest port by tonnage in the Western Hemisphere.

“The Port of South Louisiana welcomes Formosa to our district, and we look forward to assisting them in constructing and operating their facility,” Port of South Louisiana Executive Director Paul Aucoin said. “As one of the most important investments within the Port of South Louisiana, we appreciate the many jobs the project brings to our community.”

Besides Formosa’s decades-long relationship with Louisiana, the state helped secure the company’s investment in St. James Parish with an incentive package that includes a $12 million performance-based grant that will offset infrastructure costs. In addition, besides benefitting from Louisiana’s FastStart workforce development program, the company will also take advantage of Louisiana’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.

St. James Parish President Timmy Roussel said the forthcoming petrochemical complex has the potential to transform the community.

“Given the history of St. James Parish, this will be the largest industry ever welcomed,” Roussel said. “This plant alone will almost double the present tax base.”

According to Louisiana State University economist James Richardson, the 10-year construction phase could generate $362 million in new state and local tax revenue, with $313 million in new state and local tax revenues generated in the first decade of operation. Richardson estimated that through 2035 the Sunshine Project could produce $4.7 billion in new personal earnings and $18.5 billion in new business.