SGC Energia SA of Portugal and Houston-based Great Northern Project Development LP said they will spend $100 million to renovate a dormant steam methane reformer in the Westlake, LA, area and convert it to a natural gas-to-liquids (GTL) facility, producing clean waxes, drilling fluids, diesel and naphtha.

Juniper GTL LLC is the company created to pursue the project in Calcasieu Parish. "We found in Louisiana the business environment we needed for Juniper GTL," said Juniper GTL President Vales. "We are also receiving excellent support from the state and local authorities on questions related to the environment, which is a priority for us. As a result, we secured the air permit for the GTL plant in July, which allowed us to break ground this month."

Southwest Louisiana is becoming a hub for GTL facilities. In December, Sasol announced a $16 billion to $21 billion GTL and ethane cracker complex that will be the largest manufacturing investment in Louisiana history (see Daily GPIDec. 4, 2012). In January, G2X Energy announced a $1.3 billion GTL facility at the Port of Lake Charles that will yield chiefly gasoline (see Daily GPI,Jan. 18). The Juniper GTL project, with a design production of 1,100 b/d of clean chemicals and transportation fuels, is expected to be a forerunner of smaller commercial GTL plants.

"Louisiana continues to be at the forefront of next-generation energy solutions, and we are proud to attract yet another great foreign investment in this key sector of our state's economy," said Gov. Bobby Jindal. "Louisiana has now attracted three major GTL project wins to the southeast region because of our great energy workforce, our world-class infrastructure and our strong business climate that is rapidly rising to the top.

"Juniper GTL could have built this project in Texas or other locations, but the company chose Louisiana because they know our state offers the most competitive site and workforce advantages in the world."

Juniper is expected to be the first commercial GTL facility to start construction in the United States. Juniper GTL will use an integrated process solution that is industrially tested and supplied under the brand name XTLH by SGC Energia.

 "Calcasieu Parish will be the only location throughout the world to house three gas-to-liquid plants, making our region a worldwide leader for this industry," said Shannon Spell, president of the parish police jury.