Today, Governor Bobby Jindal congratulated Sasol Ltd., whose integrated gas-to-liquids and chemicals project in Louisiana earned the inaugural FDI Deal of the Year Award at the 2013 World Forum for Foreign Direct Investment in Shanghai, China. Site Selection magazine and the FDI Association presented the award to LED officials at the international forum.
Sasol is developing a $16 billion to $21 billion complex in Westlake, La., that will create 1,253 new direct jobs and result in an estimated 5,886 new indirect jobs, along with an estimated 7,000 construction jobs. Sasol also will retain an existing 435 jobs at the company's chemical complex near Lake Charles.
Governor Jindal said, "When we announced this historic project, we knew that it would propel our economy forward and bring new opportunities to thousands of people in our state. This international FDI Deal of the Year Award validates the hard work put in by our state, regional and local partners who collaborated to bring to Louisiana what may be the largest, single foreign direct investment at a single manufacturing site in U.S. history. With projects like Sasol, Benteler, IBM, CenturyLink, GE Capital and many others, we are raising the bar for Louisiana's economy to heights never seen before in our state. This FDI award is further proof that Louisiana's strong business climate, top-notch workforce and incomparable logistics infrastructure are transforming our economy and bringing great new jobs for Louisianians."
The FDI Deal of the Year selection is based upon data collected by the Site Selection-affiliated Conway Data New Plant Report in conjunction with independent judging by a panel of FDI consultants and industry leaders from around the world. Earlier this year in February, Business Facilities selected the Sasol project for its Silver Award in the magazine's 2012 Economic Development Deal of the Year competition. Also in February, the Sasol project earned the Best Refinery Project award presented by fDi magazine in its first Project of the Year awards focused on foreign direct investment. The FDI Deal of the Year Award presented by Site Selection and the FDI Association reviewed submissions from projects announced in 2012 and 2013.
In Louisiana, Sasol will build a 96,000-barrels-per-day facility converting natural gas to liquids, including cleaner-burning, high-performance diesel fuel. A companion ethane cracker will produce the chemical building block ethylene that is in high demand for many manufacturing applications, such as solvents, surfactants, polymers and other alcohol- and plastics-based products. An LSU Division of Economic Development study commissioned by LED estimates the Sasol project will generate a total economic impact of $46.2 billion over the next 20 years.
Louisiana's FDI award accompanies a rapidly improving business climate and significant policy advances in workforce development, governmental ethics, tax structure and education that have joined with highly competitive incentives to boost the state's stature in national rankings. Today, Louisiana ranks higher than it ever did before 2008 in every major ranking of state business climates, including Top 10 rankings by Site Selection, Area Development and Business Facilities.
In July, Louisiana reached its higher-ever position in a national business climate ranking when Business Facilities ranked the state No. 4 among the best U.S. business climates. The state's improved business climate has accompanied a surge in business development wins: Since 2008, Louisiana has attracted economic development projects that are resulting in 83,000 new jobs in the state and more than $54 billion in new capital investment.