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Gas-to-liquids plant one step closer for Louisiana

Marissa Hall | Shale Plays Media

Sasol Ltd., an energy and chemical company based in South Africa, has gained approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a permit to build a massive complex near Lake Charles, Louisiana. The project, budgeted for anywhere from $16 billion to $21 billion in costs, will include a gas-to-liquids plant and an ethane cracker facility. Katherine Sayre for the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports:

Beginning this year, Sasol plans to build a $5 billion to $7 billion ethane cracker, which breaks down the molecules of ethane — found in natural gas — and creates ethylene, a key ingredient for the petrochemical industry. It’s used in products like food packaging, fragrances, detergents and tires. That plant is expected to begin operating in 2017.

Related: Helis one step closer to approval for fracking in St. Tammany

Construction for the gas-to-liquids facility should begin in 2016, and will have the capacity to convert 96,000 barrels of natural gas derivatives daily when it opens in 2019. When the complex is completed, it will take up 3,034 acres in Calcasieu Parish.

The development will bolster the natural gas industry in Louisiana, which has struggled due to low prices of natural gas for several years. An estimated 5,000 construction jobs and 1,200 permanent jobs will be created by the project. The state has also offered $257 million in incentives to Sasol in order to promote the project.

For all the details, see Sayre’s full article: Sasol clears permitting hurdle to begin construction of $16B to $21B chemical complex in Calcasieu Parish

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