Taiwan’s Formosa Petrochemical Mulls Louisiana Chemical Complex
Taiwan-based Formosa Petrochemical Corp. (FPC) is reportedly studying the feasibility of an estimated $9.4 billion industrial complex in St. James Parish, Louisiana, where the company would build a major facility in two phases that would produce ethylene and a host of downstream chemical products.
A final investment decision expected by mid-2016 will determine the final capital investment figure for the project, which would be sited on the west bank of the Mississippi River near the Gramercy Bridge and serve as one of the largest, single-site ethylene production complexes in the world.
Should the company make a final investment decision to proceed with the project, FPC would move forward with construction and development of the initial phase beginning in 2016, with plant hiring starting in 2018. The second-phase ethane cracker and downstream chemical plants would begin construction in 2022, following completion of the first phase.
The facility would convert ethane to ethylene and then produce polyethylene, with customized outputs of low- and high-density polyethylene, ethylene glycol, polypropylene and other derivatives.
“Formosa Petrochemical Corp. has been dedicated to the petrochemical industry for decades,” said company Chairman Bao-Lang Chen. “We believe strategic growth in petrochemicals in the future will be in the U.S., especially in Louisiana. It is the right and perfect location for our company’s next development base.”
FPC’s parent, The Formosa Group, has operated in Louisiana since 1981, with three plastics manufacturing locations in East Baton Rouge and Pointe Coupee parishes.
The state of Louisiana has offered the Taiwanese company an incentives package that would include a $12 million performance-based grant to offset infrastructure costs, with the grant to be paid in four equal annual installments beginning in 2018, the first year of hiring for the project.
In addition, FPC would have expedited access to the services of Louisiana’s state Workforce Development, Quality Jobs, and Industrial Tax Exemption programs, according to Louisiana Economic Development.