Formosa Petrochemical Corp. is reviewing a plan that could bring new production of polyethylene and related products — as well as more than 9,000 jobs — to Louisiana.
Officials with Taiwan-based Formosa said in a Sept. 3 news release that the firm is studying the feasibility of a $9.4 billion industrial complex in St. James Parish, La. The two-phase project would include production of PE, ethylene, ethylene glycol, polypropylene and related products. The project would create 1,200 direct jobs and as many as 8,000 indirect ones, officials said.
“We believe strategic growth in petrochemicals in the future will be in the U.S., especially in Louisiana,” company Chairman Bao-Lang Chen said in the release. “It's the right and perfect location for our company's next development base.”
Gov. Bobby Jindal added in the release that “this tremendous capital investment signals that the many reforms we have installed to improve Louisiana's business climate are succeeding.”
If Formosa goes ahead with the project, the firm will receive a $12 million performance-based state grant, as well as tax exemptions through the state's Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs. Formosa also would work with LED FastStart, the state's workforce development program.
Several petrochemicals makers — including Dow Chemical, ExxonMobil Chemical and ChevronPhillips — already have announced major PE expansions in the Gulf Coast region because of newfound supplies of natural gas. Most of these projects are scheduled to come online in 2017.
Formosa Petrochemical is a separate entity from Formosa Plastics Corp., although both are owned by Taiwanese conglomerate Formosa Group. Formosa Plastics is building a new ethylene cracker, low density PE line and PDH propylene unit in Point Comfort, Texas. In July, officials said the firm will build a new PP unit there as well.
Formosa Plastics already makes PE, PP, PVC and related products in the United States as Formosa Plastics Corp. USA. The firm operates a Louisiana production site in Baton Rouge.