Economic Development
1:35 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Gas-to-Liquid Plant to be First in U.S.

Johannesburg-based Sasol plans to invest up to $21 billion in a gas-to-liquids facility in Westlake.

The international energy company produces liquid fuels, chemicals and electricity. 

The facility will be the first of its kind in the U.S. It will produce high quality transportation fuels, such as GTL diesel, a cleaner-burning, high-performance fuel that can be used in existing vehicles.

To secure the project, Louisiana offered Sasol a performance-based grant of $115 million for land acquisition and infrastructure costs. The state will also invest $20 million for a training facility, according to the governor’s office.

The facility is expected to become a major economic driver for Southwest Louisiana. However, international energy consultant Don Hertzmark told the New York Times that these plants are only profitable when gas prices are very low.

The plant is slated to be operational by 2017. Overall, the project is expected to create a total of more than 7,000 direct and indirect jobs.