St. Charles Clean Fuels, a development company jointly owned by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Sustainable Fuels Group, is exploring the feasibility of building a $4.6 billion ammonia production and export facility in St. Charles Parish.
If the project moves forward, the company expects to create 216 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of more than $90,000. Louisiana Economic Development estimates 949 new indirect jobs would result, for a total of 1,165 potential new jobs. It is also estimated that the project would result in 2,000 construction jobs.
“Louisiana continues to attract the interest of new and established companies exploring major investments in the energy transition,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “St. Charles Clean Fuels’ commitment to lowering global levels of greenhouse gas emissions aligns with the state’s goal for net zero emissions by 2050. We look forward to seeing this project progress as part of an all-of-the-above energy strategy that is growing and diversifying our economy.”
The company said they envision a facility designed to produce one of the world’s cleanest sources of ammonia, incorporating self-generated hydrogen fuel and capturing and sequestering over 90 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions produced during the ammonia manufacturing process. Reduced-carbon or “blue” ammonia is anticipated to be in high demand as a clean energy feedstock in global markets.
“St. Charles Parish feeds and fuels America, and I am proud to see businesses in our parish continue to grow and develop new ways to do that,” St. Charles Parish President Matthew Jewell said. “When we can create new jobs using sustainable processes, everyone wins.”
International-Matex Tank Terminals would lease land to SCCF at its St. Rose location. The New Orleans-based company would also build the storage tanks needed to hold the liquified ammonia before transportation via its existing terminal.
“St. Charles Clean Fuels is proposing to build one of the cleanest industrial projects for the new energy transition,” SCCF Project Director Ramesh Raman said. “By capturing greenhouse gases and engineering the project to consider cleaner, more efficient technologies, the company seeks to make a tangible contribution to lowering the environmental footprint for the global economy while positively benefitting the communities in which we reside.”
The proposed site is currently undergoing a front-end engineering design study while the company prepares permit applications. SCCF officials said they hope to make a final investment decision in early 2024 and begin construction later that year, which would enable operations to begin in 2027.
To attract the project, the state has prepared an incentive package that would include a $6 million performance-based grant for infrastructure needs, as well as the full services of LED FastStart. The company is also expected to apply for participation in the state’s industrial tax exemption and quality jobs programs.
“This potential investment from St. Charles Clean Fuels Holdings and the Copenhagen Investment Fund is extremely important,” Michael Hecht, president and CEO of GNO, Inc., said. “Not only does it represent hundreds of jobs and billions in investment, it marks a major step towards Louisiana becoming the leading clean energy state of the future for America.”