Gov. Edwards announces $4.5B in new clean energy plant
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and the industrial gas supplying company, Air Products, announced a multi-billion dollar project in the state that will create jobs and help make the air a little bit cleaner.
In an effort to continue Louisiana’s goal of reducing the amount of carbon dioxide released into the air; the state and Air Products will invest $4.5 billion in a clean energy facility in the Capital Region that will be located near Gonzales in Ascension Parish.
“Which will be the world’s largest permanent carbon dioxide sequestration endeavor to date,” said Edwards.
The company estimates the project will create 170 permanent jobs with an average salary of $93,000 plus benefits, along with nearly 2,000 construction jobs over the next three years.
“But it’s really more than all of that. This project represents a tremendously important step for our ongoing expansion into clean energy opportunities in Louisiana,” continued Edwards.
The complex will capture and store carbon dioxide underground and produce what’s called “blue hydrogen,” which uses natural gas to produce an alternative fuel.
“This clean energy complex will produce 750 million cubic feet a day of clean hydrogen,” said Seifi Ghasemi, the company’s president. “To put it in perspective, that’s enough energy to drive 3 million cars.”
The hydrogen the complex creates will be supplied to Air Products customers around the Gulf Coast Region and be transported internationally and converted into blue hydrogen.
“Nothing will come close to this. So clearly, Louisiana will be the world leader in sequestering carbon dioxide, which is the key to climate change,” added Ghasemi.
To reward Air Products for creating high-paying jobs with benefits, Edwards said the state will give the company property tax breaks, a state tax refund, a $5 million grant, and help with training the company’s workforce.
The governor wrapped the announcement up hinting that there will be similar announcements within the coming months.
The following information is from the Office of the Governor:
Gov. John Bel Edwards and Air Products’ Chairman, President and CEO Seifi Ghasemi announced the company will develop a $4.5 billion clean energy complex near Burnside in Ascension Parish. This will also be the world’s largest permanent carbon dioxide sequestration endeavor to date. Air Products will construct a blue hydrogen manufacturing complex to produce more than 750 million standard cubic feet per day of blue hydrogen, with carbon dioxide from the manufacturing process captured and permanently sequestered. The plant will be the first carbon-capture project in Louisiana for Air Products, a world-leading industrial gas manufacturer that provides hydrogen and other gases to refineries, petrochemical plants and other customers in Louisiana, across the Gulf Coast and around the globe.
The project will create 170 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of $93,000, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates it will result in 413 new indirect jobs, for a total of 583 new jobs for Ascension Parish and the Capital Region. Air Products also will retain 334 existing jobs in the state. The company estimates the project will create more than 2,000 construction jobs over three years.
“This is a major industrial investment that will create quality manufacturing jobs while limiting environmental impacts, a goal envisioned by my Climate Initiatives Task Force,” Gov. Edwards said. “Carbon capture and sequestration are important to Louisiana’s efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions while maintaining jobs and growing our manufacturing base. This project is a clear demonstration of our ability to grow the Louisiana economy while lowering the carbon footprint of industry.”
“Blue” products are made using hydrocarbons as a feedstock, with carbon dioxide from the production process captured for permanent sequestration. Carbon dioxide is recognized as a major source of human-caused emissions contributing to climate change. Carbon capture and sequestration, or CCS, keeps the greenhouse gas out of the atmosphere by capturing it at the production site and storing it in reservoirs far underground.
About 95 percent of the carbon dioxide generated at the Air Products facility will be captured, compressed and transported by pipeline to multiple inland sequestration sites located along a pipeline corridor extending up to 35 miles to the east of the complex. More than five million metric tons per year of carbon dioxide will be permanently sequestered in geologic pore space secured from the State of Louisiana about a mile below ground. Air Products has received approval from the State Mineral and Energy Board for the permanent sequestration of the carbon dioxide.
“Air Products is excited to announce this investment in clean energy with the governor of Louisiana,” Ghasemi said. “This landmark megaproject will not only create jobs but make Louisiana and Ascension Parish leaders in the U.S. clean energy transition. Air Products is fully invested in and committed to projects that leverage our build-own-operate, technology, financial and sustainability capabilities, and this project brings all of those core strengths together. We look forward to building on our long partnership with Louisiana and constructing a facility that will serve as a leading example of clean energy production around the globe.”
The project is expected to be operational in 2026.
“Ascension Parish is committed to being a leader in the new clean energy economy and values our continued relationship with Air Products,” Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment said. “We appreciate their investment in industrial gas production using carbon capture and sequestration technology. This project will not only make a significant investment in our parish but will also add high-quality employment opportunities for the residents in our community.”
To secure the proposed project, the State of Louisiana offered Air Products a competitive incentive package that includes the comprehensive workforce solutions of LED FastStart® – the nation’s No. 1 state workforce development program for the past 12 years. Air Products also was offered a performance-based grant of up to $5 million to offset plant and pipeline construction costs; that grant is payable over five years, subject to the company meeting specified investment and job creation benchmarks. The company also is expected to utilize the state’s Industrial Tax Exemption and Quality Jobs programs.
“The development of this large-scale clean hydrogen project highlights our strategic geographic assets as we position ourselves to become the clean energy capital of the U.S. Gulf Coast,” said Kate MacArthur, president and CEO of the Ascension Economic Development Corp. “Investments from companies like Air Products are essential to reducing carbon pollution in a major and sustainable way.”
“The Capital Region is at the leading edge of the transitional energy sector, and Air Products’ decision to build one of the world’s largest low-carbon hydrogen projects here underscores that the talent, infrastructure, and business climate is turn-key for clean energy investments of a global scale,” said Adam Knapp, president and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. “We congratulate our partners in Ascension Parish and look forward to working together to support Air Products.”
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