Yuhang Chemical completes St. James land purchase

China-based Yuhuang Chemical Inc. announced early today it has finalized a land deal to buy 1,300 acres in St. James for the construction of a $1.85 billion methanol manufacturing complex. The announcement marks the completion of the deal announced on July 17 by Gov. Bobby Jindal and Yuhuang Chemical CEO Charlie Yao.

Yuhuang Chemical is one of 13 subsidiaries of Shandong Yuhuang Chemical Co. Ltd. The plant in St. James is both Yuhuang Chemical Inc. and China’s first direct investment into business in Louisiana, the company has said.

The methanol manufacturing complex will be built during a multistage construction plan. The first phase, which is expected to be up and running in the first quarter of 2018, will be a methanol plant expected to produce 1.7 million tons annually. The St. James plant is expected to create about 2,100 construction jobs, 400 direct jobs at the plant and more than 2,300 indirect jobs in southeast Louisiana and surrounding areas.

LED is providing Yuhuang Chemical with an incentive package that includes two performance-based grants: a five-year incentive worth $9.5 million starting in 2017 to defray construction costs, and another $1.75 million over 10 years to partially offset site development expenses. Yuhuang will also participate in the LED FastStart workforce training program and utilize the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.

The completion of the land deal comes on the heels of another major announcement for the company: a 20-year deal with Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line that will ensure transportation capacity from one of Transco’s pipelines into the proposed methanol plant.

Shandong Chemical employs 5,600 people worldwide and produces a range of chemicals, including propylene, isoprene and methanol.

—Ryan Broussard

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