Jindal Announces Lake Providence Chem Plant Project

This came from a release out of Gov. Jindal’s office. It sounds like good news, though the release doesn’t specify what the level of state investment is in the way of bribing Myriant Technologies to locate in Louisiana. Draw your own assessments…

Today, Governor Bobby Jindal joined Myriant Technologies LLC Chairman and CEO Stephen Gatto and Port of Lake Providence Director Wyly Gilfoil to announce that Myriant Technologies, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Myriant Lake Providence Inc., will soon begin building a new 392,000 sq. ft. plant at the Port of Lake Providence that will be the world’s largest bio-based succinic acid plant.

The project will create 176 new direct and indirect jobs in the area and represent a capital investment of approximately $80 million. This total includes 49 new, direct jobs at an average annual salary of nearly $40,000 plus benefits and an estimated 127 new, indirect additional jobs. Additionally, the 18-month core construction period is scheduled to begin in early 2011, and will require at least 250 construction workers.

Governor Jindal said, “Our commitment to making Louisiana the best place in the world for businesses to invest and succeed continues to create more opportunities for our workers to pursue their dreams right here at home. Myriant’s new, sustainable specialty chemical manufacturing plant is great news for Lake Providence and for Northeast Louisiana. Not only does this project create nearly 200 new jobs for the people of Northeast Louisiana, it also is also a beacon to innovators everywhere by using cutting edge technology to help reduce our dependence on foreign imported oil. This type of alternative energy manufacturing venture is one of our top target growth industries that helps to diversify the economy of our state, attract more businesses, and create more jobs. Our state’s great low-cost manufacturing environment, well-established transportation and logistics networks, and skilled workforce trained in specialty chemicals provide several competitive advantages for companies like Myriant.”

“This project puts Louisiana at the forefront of innovation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

The first-of-its-kind commercial scale bio-based succinic acid refinery was awarded funding in January 2010 from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and will also benefit from funding provided by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development to the Port via its Port Priority program.  In addition, LED is providing an incentive package that includes turnkey workforce solutions from LED FastStart, a five to six percent rebate on payroll expenses and certain sales taxes through the Quality Jobs program and property tax abatement for materials used in new manufacturing through the Industrial Tax Exemption Program. 

Once operational in 2012, the project will utilize sorghum and carbon dioxide (CO2) to produce up to 30 million pounds per year of succinic acid. Succinic acid is traditionally produced from petroleum based feedstocks and used in a wide variety of applications, including the production of polymers, fibers, surfactants, detergents and flavors. Bio-based succinic acid can directly substitute for the petroleum-based version, thus providing a renewable bio-based industrial chemical building block and reducing the U.S. dependence on imported oil while reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.

“Myriant is thrilled to be on the verge of launching this breakthrough project,” said Stephen Gatto, Chairman and CEO of Myriant. “We are extremely impressed by and grateful for the support and coordination from the state, from the Governor, LED, Louisiana DOTD, the Port of Lake Providence and Senator Mary Landrieu. We are thankful for all of these constituents, as well as DOE, and their recognition of the vital role this technology will play in job creation, economic growth and environmental security.”

Key site selection factors included the strategic location at the Port of Lake Providence, with its combination of rail, highway and barge access, as well as incentives offered by the state. The Lake Providence location provides a variety of feedstock options for the facility, as well as low-cost transportation options for both the inputs and products.

Headquartered in Quincy, Massachusetts, Myriant Technologies LLC utilizes proprietary technology to advance the development of low-cost cellulosic sugars for the sustainable manufacturing of high-value specialty chemicals. The company’s D(-) lactic acid started production at commercial scale in June 2008 for use in polylactic acid. Myriant’s second commercial product, succinic acid, will begin commercial production in 2012.



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