Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and Formosa Petrochemical Corp. executive Keh-Yen Lin recently announced that the company has selected St. James Parish in Louisiana for a $9.4 billion chemical manufacturing complex and has purchased a 2,400-acre site along the west bank of the Mississippi River.

The complex would be built in two phases and produce ethylene, propylene, ethylene glycol and associated polymers. Those chemicals are used in the production of vinyl, a crucial part of many products used in the fenestration and building products industries.

Formosa plans to operate the complex under the name “The Sunshine Project.” Pending the completion and approval of permits for the site, Formosa could begin construction as soon as 2019 in what projects to be a 10-year building and development process in two phases.

The Sunshine Project would create 1,200 new direct jobs averaging $84,500, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project also would result in 8,000 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 9,000 jobs in the River Parishes and surrounding regions of Louisiana.

To secure the project, the state of Louisiana offered a competitive incentive package that would include a $12 million performance-based grant to offset infrastructure costs. Following company performance in building the complex, Formosa would receive the grant in four annual installments of $3 million beginning in 2021, the projected first year for hiring permanent jobs.

An economic impact study completed by LSU economist James Richardson forecasts the 10-year Formosa construction period will yield $362 million in new state and local tax receipts, with an additional yield of $313 million in new state and local taxes during the initial 10 years of operation, beginning in 2025. Through 2035, combining both periods, Richardson estimates the project will yield $4.7 billion in new personal earnings and $18.5 billion in new business transactions.

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