ST. JAMES PARISH, LA (WAFB) - A company has selected St. James Parish for a $9.4 billion chemical complex, officials announced Monday.
Gov. John Bel Edwards and Formosa Petrochemical Corp. said the company has purchased a 2,400-acre site just downriver from the Sunshine Bridge along the west bank of the Mississippi River.
They added the two-phase complex construction is expected to create up to 1,200 new direct jobs and thousands of new indirect ones.
Once complete, the complex will produce ethylene, propylene, ethylene glycol, and other polymers.
"For more than 50 years, the Sunshine Bridge has connected the River Parishes in a strategic fashion that has enabled tremendous industrial growth and thousands of new jobs along both sides of the Mississippi River in Louisiana," Gov. Edwards said. "The new Sunshine Project continues that bridge into a brighter economic future for Louisiana, one with an estimated 8,000 construction jobs at peak, even more permanent jobs upon completion, and a multibillion-dollar impact on earnings and business purchases for decades to come. As a major global manufacturer based in Taiwan, Formosa has operated in Louisiana for several decades, and we applaud the company's responsible and thorough approach to developing this project."
Construction could begin as early as 2019 and will take 10 years to complete, officials added.
The deal cost the state $1.5 billion in tax incentives. Louisiana's economic development secretary said that includes 10 years of property tax exemptions for a subsidiary of Taiwan's Formosa Petrochemicals Corporation.
A company-sponsored analysis estimates the project will generate $675 million in new state and local taxes through 2035.
The Louisiana Environmental Action Network has criticized the project, saying it and other plants will increase air pollution.