SunGas Renewables Chooses Rapides Parish for Proposed $1.8 Billion Facility

SunGas Renewables Inc. has announced the formation of Beaver Lake Renewable Energy LLC, which will construct a new green methanol production facility in Central Louisiana. A wholly-owned subsidiary of SunGas Renewables, BLRE is expected to generate from the facility nearly 400,000 metric tons of green methanol a year for marine fuel while creating more than 1,150 jobs during construction and more than 100 local jobs during operation.

Green methanol produced by BLRE is expected to be used to fuel A.P. Moller – Maersk’s fleet of methanol-powered container vessels and will utilize wood fiber from local, sustainably managed forests. The methanol will have a negative carbon intensity through sequestration of nearly 1 million tons a year of carbon dioxide produced by the project, which will be executed by Denbury Carbon Solutions.

“As the only state in the Gulf South with a climate action plan, Louisiana is a global leader in the energy transition, and companies like SunGas Renewables have taken notice,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “I applaud SunGas Renewables for pursuing this massive investment that would create quality, high-paying jobs in central Louisiana for our talented workers. If it moves forward, this project will be another milestone in our efforts to grow and diversify our economy. The state will continue to support the company’s efforts to bring it to completion.”
SunGas Renewables anticipates BLRE will invest approximately $2 billion to construct the project at the former International Paper facility in Rapides Parish. The BLRE facility is expected to begin construction in late 2024 with commercial operations commencing in 2027.

“We truly hope Beaver Lake Renewable Energy makes the Alexandria region home,” Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy said. “Our community welcomes all regional growth leading to better jobs and opportunity for citizens, especially when a site like the one proposed is brought back into commerce. We have many resources to offer businesses and a wonderful quality of life we know any industry choosing our region would enjoy.”

“This is a great day for Pineville and Central Louisiana,” Pineville Mayor Rich Dupree said. “It took a lot to make this deal happen. The level of local teamwork, combined with Governor John Bel Edwards, U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy and Congresswoman Julia Letlow, all made for a synergy of leadership to break through many barriers along the way. It has also been a long time since an announcement of this magnitude has happened anywhere in our region, so today we welcome a game-changing manufacturer to Pineville and a tremendous employer for all of central Louisiana.”

Louisiana Central President and CEO Jim Clinton said, “The Beaver Lake Renewable Energy project is another large-scale investment in central Louisiana’s green energy profile. This region is emerging as an important player in the nation’s energy transition with new jobs and investments now occurring throughout our region. We thank SunGas Renewables for its decision to locate its first green methanol production facility here and we thank the remarkable team of local partners whose contributions to this announcement have been so crucial.”
This project has been a collaborative effort between SunGas Renewables, Louisiana Economic Development and several central Louisiana organizations. Louisiana Central, the region’s economic development organization, the City of Pineville, the City of Alexandria, Central Louisiana Regional Port, Central Louisiana Regional Chamber of Commerce and Cleco have had instrumental roles in attracting this investment and the creation of jobs that will have a large-scale, positive impact on the central Louisiana region and the state. In addition, support from the region’s federal and state elected delegations was key to the company locating in Pineville.

“Using biomass from sustainably managed forestry along with carbon capture allows our project to generate green marine shipping fuel while simultaneously removing carbon from the atmosphere. This new low-carbon marine fuel facility also helps strengthen communities and create sustainable economies right here in Rapides Parish, Louisiana,” said Robert Rigdon, CEO of SunGas Renewables. “As we continue our mission to make a meaningful impact in the energy transition, we look forward to collaborating with all our project partners and the State of Louisiana to construct and operate this important project. This incredible effort happening right here in Pineville will be an innovative and industry leading low-carbon energy solution that will help fuel a better world.”

“Central Louisiana Regional Port is tremendously proud to collaborate with SunGas on this transformative project of global transportation impact,” said Ben Russo, executive director of Central Louisiana Regional Port. “This project will enhance and expand on a great industrial base here in Central Louisiana. Its addition will provide opportunities to downstream businesses providing additional economic benefit to central Louisiana.”

“BLRE represents a significant milestone in the clean energy sector and showcases our region’s commitment to sustainable development,” Bill Fontenot, president and CEO of Cleco Corporate Holdings LLC, said. “This innovative project commits to reducing carbon emissions and brings economic benefits to central Louisiana. Cleco’s commitment to serving the evolving needs of companies embracing clean-energy solutions aligns with the goals of SunGas Renewables and the Beaver Lake Renewable Energy project.”
“SunGas choosing to locate in our region with an investment of such magnitude is a huge success for all of us,” said Joe Bishop, president of the Rapides Parish Police Jury. “We are excited for this industry to locate and thrive in Rapides Parish.”

“This has truly been a group effort with collaboration and support from so many partners and elected officials on the local, state, and federal levels,” Deborah Randolph, president of Central Louisiana Regional Chamber of Commerce, said. “The sizable investment by SunGas Renewables will create hundreds of direct and indirect jobs. The multiplier effect of this investment and infusion of new jobs will have a tremendous economic impact on local businesses in the entire region.”

In late 2022, SunGas Renewables announced a strategic green methanol partnership with Denmark-based Maersk, the world’s second largest container shipping company, to produce green methanol from multiple facilities around the country. Maersk is a leader in decarbonizing marine shipping by using green methanol to fuel its new and growing fleet of methanol powered container vessels.

The BLRE project is SunGas Renewable’s first facility to produce green methanol for Maersk. SunGas Renewables chose Central Louisiana for the BLRE project due to its long history of sustainably managed forests, available infrastructure to support the facility, and strong local and state support.

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