Westlake, Louisiana (USA) – South African-based energy and chemicals company, Sasol today announced plans to introduce a Voluntary Property Purchase Program for residents in designated areas northwest and west of its exisiting facility in Westlake, Louisiana. The Program will give eligible property owners and residents the option to see their property to Sasol and relocate to an alternative neighborhood, if they so choose.
In December 2012, Sasol announced that it would begin front-end engineering and design work for a world-scale ethane cracker and gas-to-liquids (GTL) facility to be located at its existing site in Westlake.
“We recognize that our growth plans will result in the expansion of our facility closer towards our neighbors to the northwest and west of our existing facility. Sasol is committed to listening to community concerns and being a good neighbor and corporate citizen in Southwest Louisiana. Although our final investment decisions on whether to start construction on the two growth projects have not been made, we are taking steps now to address the concerns of our neighbors through a Voluntary Property Purchase Program as part of our ongoing efforts to address community needs,” said Mike Thomas, Sasol Vice President for U.S. Operations.
Sasol has retained an experienced, third party contractor, Community Interaction Consulting, Inc. (CIC), to administer the Program. CIC has more than 20 years of experience administering best practice property purchase programs around the country.
Sasol and CIC are currently finalizing Program guidelines and additional details. CIC will open an office in the community in early August and launch a website to provide Program specifics, timelines and contact information. CIC will host small group information sessions at the Program office for prospective participants around mid-August. Additional information on the office opening date and scheduling of the information sessions will be provided as soon as it is available.
At an estimated cost of between $16 and $21 billion, the ethane cracker and GTL projects together represent the largest single manufacturing investment in the history of Louisiana and one of the largest foreign direct investment manufacturing projects in U.S. history. Together, the two projects are expected to create over 1,200 permanent jobs, 7,000 jobs at peak construction and thousands of indirect jobs in Louisiana and across the U.S.
“Sasol has been a member of the community for more than a decade,” said Thomas. “We’re proud to be embarking on a new phase of significant growth and investment that will foster job creation and economic development in the region, while advancing sustainable development.”