Nearly two years after breaking ground on its $11 billion petrochemical facility in Westlake, Sasol has yet to pay Calcasieu Parish its development permit fee, a fee that’s usually paid within a few months after the start of construction.
As the American Press reports, Calcasieu Parish Administrator Bryan Beam says other companies that have built projects in the parish either paid in full at the start of construction or began paying in installments within the first three months of starting construction.
The unprecedented size of Sasol’s project could be in part to blame for the unusual delay, Beam says.
The parish changed its fee structure in February 2015, a month before Sasol broke ground on the facility, because the old structure had not anticipated multibillion-dollar projects, Beam says. Under the old fee structure, Sasol would have paid between $2 million to $4 million. But under the new plan, if taken at the announced $11 billion, Sasol would pay slightly over $1 million for the fee. But it could be more or less depending on if that $11 billion holds.
To resolve the issue, Calcasieu Parish is working with the South Africa-based company to calculate the exact amount of the fee based on the cost of the Westlake project.
Sasol spokeswoman Kim Cusimano confirms that Sasol is discussing with parish officials the development permit fee, as well as other commitments listed in the development agreement, in order to “evaluate and confirm the status and future of those activities and agreements.”