CONVENT, La. — Gov. John Bel Edwards and President Dan Yankowski of Linde’s Global Hydrogen Business announced Linde will construct a $250 million world-scale hydrogen plant in St. James Parish. With the new hydrogen plant, the company will create 15 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of $80,000, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 62 new indirect jobs, for a total of 77 new jobs in Louisiana’s Southeast Region. The project, initiated by Praxair before its merger with Linde, also will generate an estimated 150 construction jobs at the height of construction.
Linde will build, own and operate the steam methane reformer, which will have a capacity in excess of 170 million standard cubic feet per day of high-purity hydrogen. Once complete, this project will increase the company’s Gulf Coast hydrogen capacity to more than 1.7 billion standard cubic feet per day. Oil refineries use hydrogen to produce ultra-low-sulfur diesel and other transportation fuels that meet today’s more stringent environmental standards, while chemical companies use hydrogen to produce intermediate and specialty chemicals.
“Linde’s commitment to Louisiana is a vote of confidence in our state’s industrial corridor, and it represents another great win for Louisiana’s growing economy,” Gov. Edwards said. “Our business-friendly climate, our natural resources, our world-class infrastructure and our highly skilled and highly engaged workforce are all contributing to the industrial expansion we’re seeing in Louisiana. This new investment from Linde will create new opportunities for our people and support increased economic activity in the region.”
Construction of the new facility will start by late 2019, with commercial operations scheduled to begin as soon as 2021. The hydrogen plant is expected to be one of the largest hydrogen plants in the U.S. The new facility will be integrated with Linde’s extensive production network as part of the company’s Mississippi River corridor hydrogen pipeline system, which supplies some of the leading chemical manufacturing companies in Louisiana’s Southeast and Capital regions. The 90-mile pipeline network stretches from Baton Rouge to St. Charles Parish.
“Linde is committed to be the preferred hydrogen supplier in the U.S. Gulf Coast and this investment further reinforces our strategy to support industrial growth in this vibrant region,” Yankowski said. “We understand that hydrogen is a critical requirement for our customers and are committed to providing long-term reliability.”
To date, Linde has invested more than $500 million in Louisiana. In addition to this latest investment, the company has signed a long-term agreement with BASF to design, build, own and operate a new syngas processing plant at BASF’s facility in Geismar, Louisiana, slated to start up in 2020. Linde also recently announced the completion of a new syngas plant in Geismar that will increase carbon monoxide supply to customers in the surrounding region. Linde’s Geismar complex has been in operation for nearly 50 years, producing hydrogen, carbon monoxide and other gas products required by local chemical and refining industries.
Through Linde’s Skills Pipeline™ Workplace Development Program and Global Giving Program, the company also has launched several educational programs and scholarship opportunities to emphasize the importance of STEM education to Louisiana students.
“St. James Parish welcomes Linde and their construction of a $250 million steam methane reformer facility,” St. James Parish President Timmy Roussel said. “This type of project works well with our land use plan in every way. We also look forward to working with Linde in placing as many local hires as possible to fill those $80,000 annual average wage positions. I am happy for Linde and for St. James Parish as well, because St. James Parish is a great place to live, work, play and grow.”
LED began formal discussions with Linde about its new hydrogen plant in May 2018. The company is expected to utilize the state’s Industrial Tax Exemption Program.
“Greater New Orleans Inc. congratulates and commends Linde for their expansion in the River Region of Greater New Orleans,” said President and CEO Michael Hecht of GNO Inc. “We are seeing record industrial investment in Louisiana, from around the world, thanks to our unbeatable combination of access to natural gas, pipeline infrastructure and world-class workforce.”
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