SHREVEPORT, La. – Bia Energy Operating Company announced that it is evaluating a $550 million blue methanol production plant that would be located at the Port of Caddo-Bossier in Shreveport, Louisiana. If the plant becomes operational, the company would create 75 direct new jobs, with an average annual salary of $80,000, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project would result in 390 indirect jobs, for a total of 465 new jobs in Louisiana’s Northwest region. Nearly 350 construction jobs would be created at peak construction for the project.
Plans for the proposed plant include a production capability of 530,000 metric tons of methanol annually, using natural gas as a feedstock. The plant would feature carbon capture capabilities, reducing carbon dioxide, or CO2, emissions by more than 90 percent compared to other methanol plants.
“Louisiana welcomes and supports Bia Energy’s plans for investment, job creation and increased economic activity in Northwest Louisiana,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “BEOC’s proposed use of carbon capture technology is important, as we continue a trend of industrial growth in Louisiana that aligns with our commitment to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. We look forward to seeing this project progress and become operational in the near term.”
If it moves forward, BEOC plans to locate its facility on a 74-acre site located at the Port of Caddo-Bossier. The company is expected to make a final decision in the 1st quarter of 2022, with construction expected to last approximately two years, and commercial operations to begin soon after.
“BRF and its partners have been working on this project for three years,” said BRF President and CEO and Bia Energy Board Member John F. George Jr., M.D. “Financial analysts in BRF’s Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program (EAP) helped BEOC secure investment funds from the New Louisiana Angel Fund and BRF. This initial funding was important to moving the project through the front-end engineering and environmental permitting phase. As a team Louisiana Economic Development, North Louisiana Economic Partnership, the Port of Caddo-Bossier and BRF have worked together to establish BEOC and position them in the final stages of investment consideration. This is how economic development should work.”
LED began formal project discussions with BEOC in 2018. To secure the methanol plant at the Port of Caddo-Bossier, the State of Louisiana offered a competitive incentive package – subject to a final investment decision – that includes the comprehensive solutions of LED FastStart, the nation’s No. 1 state workforce development program for the past 12 years. The package also includes a performance-based award of up to $2 million for project development and infrastructure. The company also is expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs program.
“We are excited about the project and the potential it has to make a positive economic impact on the area,” BEOC executive Ana Rodriguez said. “Over the next few months we will be working to finalize the agreements and secure the financing necessary to move the project forward.”
“We are pleased about the potential of large-scale investment and development in Caddo Parish,” said Caddo Parish Commission President Lyndon B. Johnson. “The potential addition of nearly 500 high-paying, skilled jobs in our community is a win all around. We look forward to working with Bia Energy Operating Company and LED to make this partnership sustainable for Caddo Parish.”
“The long-term economic impact of quality jobs created by Bia Energy will greatly benefit North Louisiana,” North Louisiana Economic Partnership President and CEO Justyn Dixon said. “With our region’s strong education partners and training programs, these well-paying, permanent jobs will contribute to retaining that skilled workforce in Caddo Parish. Bia Energy’s dedication to energy efficiency will bring our region to the forefront of modern energy. We commend the effort between the Port of Caddo-Bossier, BRF, LED and NLEP, and thus proving collaboration is the way to bring long-term investment to North Louisiana.”
Louisiana Economic Development is responsible for strengthening the state’s business environment and creating a more vibrant Louisiana economy. LED cultivates jobs and economic opportunity for the people of Louisiana, and promotes business opportunity for employers of all sizes. In 2020, LED attracted 58 new economic development projects representing over 11,600 new jobs, 8,600 retained jobs and more than $12.7 billion in new capital investment. LED’s Small Business Services team, in conjunction with the Louisiana Small Business Development Center Network, assisted more than 17,500 Louisiana small businesses and entrepreneurs in 2020. For more information, visit OpportunityLouisiana.com.