SunGas Renewables, an independent division of GTI Energy, is considering investing about $1.8 billion to create a renewable low-carbon methanol production facility in Rapides Parish near Pineville, Louisiana Economic Development (LED) announced.
If the project moves forward as hoped, the company anticipates creating 109 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of $78,000. About 1,150 construction jobs are anticipated by the company at peak construction. SunGas projects the new facility — Beaver Lake Renewable Energy — would make almost 400,000 metric tons of green methanol a year for customers worldwide using biomass from . LED projects that the facility would result in an additional 390 new indirect jobs for Central Louisiana.
“As the only state in the Gulf South with a climate action plan, Louisiana is a global leader in the energy transition and companies like SunGas Renewables have taken notice,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “I applaud SunGas Renewables for pursuing this massive investment that would create quality, high-paying jobs in central Louisiana for our talented workers. If it moves forward, this project will be another milestone in our efforts to grow and diversify our economy. The state will continue to support the company’s efforts to bring it to completion.”
Green methanol is a low-carbon fuel that is made from carbon dioxide and either biomass or renewable electricity. Fuel produced by BLRE would source wood fiber from local timber and have a negative carbon intensity as a result of the facility's planned use of carbon capture and storage at a sequestration site to be determined, the company says.
The Danish shipping and logistics company A.P. Moller-Maersk has signed a letter of intent for an offtake agreement with SunGas to purchase fuel from the proposed Pineville facility for its fleet of methanol-powered container vessels.
“Using biomass from sustainably managed forestry along with carbon capture allows our project to generate green marine shipping fuel while simultaneously removing carbon from the atmosphere,” SunGas Renewables CEO Robert Rigdon said. “As we continue our mission to make a meaningful impact in the energy transition, we look forward to collaborating with all our project partners and the state of Louisiana to construct and operate this important project. This incredible effort happening right here in Pineville will be an innovative and industry leading low-carbon energy solution that will help fuel a better world.”
To support the project in Pineville, the state of Louisiana has prepared a competitive incentives package that includes the comprehensive workforce development solutions of LED FastStart and a $6 million performance-based grant for infrastructure improvements upon meeting investment and employment targets. If the project moves forward, the company is expected to participate in the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
“This is a great day for Pineville and central Louisiana," Pineville Mayor Rich Dupree said. " It has been a long time since an announcement of this magnitude has happened anywhere in our region, so we welcome news of this potential game-changing development for Pineville and all of central Louisiana."
SunGas Renewables, a spin-out of GTI Energy, is taking a leading role in decarbonization through providing its System 1000 renewable syngas product to third parties for renewable hydrogen and biofuels production, while also developing and investing in low-carbon biofuels businesses. The SunGas Renewables System 1000 enables production of green methanol for marine fuel, renewable natural gas, green hydrogen and other renewable biofuels from sustainably sourced biomass and wood fiber. SunGas Renewables is headquartered in Houston, Texas. Read more at SunGasRenewables.com.