A New Zealand company is providing financial backing for a planned $1.3 billion methanol plant that will be the largest in North America.
Family-owned Todd Corporation, which has interests in oil and gas, energy, property, healthcare, telecommunications and wine, this week announced its involvement in the facility to be built at the Port of South Louisiana in St. James Parish.
When finished, the plant will convert natural gas into 5000 metric tons per day of methanol, which is used in products such as plastics, polyester fibers and fabrics, pesticides, fuel additives and pharmaceuticals.
The facility is expected to create 63 new jobs and another 374 indirect jobs with contractors and other companies that will be involved.
At a press conference on Thursday Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said the methanol plant would be a huge boost the local economy.
"South Louisiana Methanol's investment is the latest example of the renaissance our energy and chemical industries are experiencing today, which is creating thousands of good-paying jobs for our people," The Times-Picayune reported.
Todd Corporation chief executive Jon Young said the company is interested in funding three more plants in Louisiana in the next 10 to 15 years, said the newspaper.
Construction is expected to start later this year, with the plant opening in 2016.