SORRENTO, LA — Ascension Parish will be the location for a potential new facility that will create hundreds new jobs, officials announced on Tuesday, Sept. 24.
Shell accepted an incentive agreement with the state that includes spending a minimum of $12.5 billion and the creation of 740 direct jobs. The expected average annual salary of the direct new jobs would be approximately $100,000, plus benefits.
In return, Shell will be issued a grant of $112 million to reimburse costs associated with public road improvements, land acquisition and of infrastructure costs. The company would also qualify for Louisiana's new Competitive Projects Payroll Incentive (12 percent payroll rebate for each GTL job), as well as the Industrial Tax Exemption Program.
Analysis from LSU indicates that the new direct jobs will result in roughly 3,900 indirect jobs. They further estimate that the project could produce a total economic impact of $77.6 billion over the construction period and the first 15 years of operation.
“Selecting a site is an important step that allows us to conduct more detailed planning, technical analysis and begin the permitting process. Should we move forward with the project, we expect project costs to be well in excess of the minimum spend that was agreed upon with the State of Louisiana,” Executive Vice President Jorge Santos Silva, who directs Integrated Gas activities for Shell Upstream Americas, said. “We look forward to working with our prospective neighbors and other interested parties. Through it all, we are committed to keeping people safe, protecting the environment and being a good neighbor.”
If built, the proposed project would use natural gas to create cleaner-burning transportation fuels, such as natural gas-based diesel and jet fuels and other products, such as specialty waxes and the building blocks for lubricants, plastics and detergents.
A final decision to build the proposed project will be made after site evaluation and preliminary engineering studies are completed. Construction could follow that decision.
“Today’s announcement is a historic new opportunity for Shell to potentially expand its manufacturing operations onshore in a world-class, gas-to-liquids facility in Ascension Parish on the Mississippi River,” Governor Jindal said. “We know that the final investment decision is yet to come, but we also know that Shell’s selection of Louisiana proves once again that there’s no better place in the world for major business investment.”
Shell’s Gulf Coast GTL facility would be one of the first of its kind built to commercial scale in the United States. Shell also operates extensive onshore facilities in Louisiana, including its Norco and Geismar plants, a major training center in Robert, and corporate offices in New Orleans.