04 December 2012

Sasol to invest $16-21 bn in integrated GTL and ethane cracker complex in Westlake, Louisiana

- Largest manufacturing investment in Louisiana history 
- Create 1,253 direct and 5,886 new indirect jobs 
- Board approves proceeding with front-end engineering and design 
- Total economic impact over the next 20 years of $46.2 bn 
- Sasol is based in Johannesburg, South Africa

Westlake, La. – 03 December 2012 - Today, Gov. Bobby Jindal and Sasol Ltd. CEO David Constable announced the company plans to invest between $16 billion and $21 billion in an integrated GTL and ethane cracker complex in Westlake that is expected to create 1,253 direct jobs paying an average salary, at full employment, of nearly $88,000, plus benefits, and resulting in an additional 5,886 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 7,000 direct and indirect jobs. Sasol also will retain 435 existing direct jobs in Westlake as a result of the project. 

Sasol's board recently approved proceeding with front-end engineering and design (FEED) for this historic project, following successful feasibility studies for both the GTL and ethane cracker. 

Including direct and indirect effects, the Sasol project will produce a total economic impact over the next 20 years of $46.2 billion, according to an economic impact study commissioned by LED and completed by the LSU Division of Economic Development. The project is also expected to create roughly 7,000 construction jobs. Once the project is completed, the facility also will become the largest economic driver in Southwest Louisiana, and Sasol will become one of the top 10 economic-driver companies in the entire state of Louisiana. 

Gov. Jindal said, "Today is a great day for Westlake, Calcasieu Parish and our entire state. Today's announcement is not only one of the most exciting announcements in the history of Southwest Louisiana, but one of the most significant economic development wins our state – and our nation – has ever recorded. Sasol is one of many energy companies that is expanding in Louisiana because of our world class energy infrastructure, strong business climate and incomparable workforce. 

The GTL facility, the first of its kind in the U.S., will produce high quality transportation fuels, including GTL diesel, as well as other value-adding chemical products. The project will consist of an integrated, 96,000 barrels-per-day (bb/d) GTL facility representing a capital investment of between $11 billion and $14 billion, as well as an ethane cracker representing a capital investment of $5 billion to $7 billion. The GTL project will be delivered in a phased approach, with phase one delivering the first 48,000 bb/d and phase two delivering the remaining production capacity. The ethane cracker will produce 1.5 million tons per annum of ethylene, one of the chemical industry's key buildings blocks for alcohol- and plastics-based products, including solvents, surfactants and polymers. 

Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sasol has been an innovator in coals-to-liquids and gas-to-liquids processes since the 1950s. Through its Sasol North America Inc. subsidiary, the company supports more than 550 existing direct and contract jobs at its Westlake Chemical Complex, where Sasol is completing a $175 million capital investment to build the world's first ethylene tetramerization unit. 

To secure the project, Louisiana offered Sasol a custom incentive package that includes a performance-based grant of $115 million for land acquisition and infrastructure costs associated with the facility. Sasol also will receive the services of LED FastStart™, the nation's No. 1 state workforce training program. In addition, the company will qualify for Louisiana's new Competitive Projects Payroll Incentive (up to 15 percent payroll rebate for each GTL job) and Quality Jobs Program (up to 6 percent payroll rebate for each ethane cracker job). To support the project's workforce needs during construction and operations, the state will be investing $20 million for a new training facility and associated equipment focused on industrial technology at SOWELA Technical Community College in Lake Charles. Finally, Sasol is expected to utilize the Industrial Tax Exemption Program for both the GTL and the ethylene facilities. 

Hiring for the GTL and ethane cracker facilities will begin in 2014. Operations of the first plant are expected to start in 2017, with full employment reached within two years after commercial operations begin. 

Source: Louisiana Economic Development