When I was reading an article on the New York Times called “South African Company to Build U.S. Plant to Convert Gas to Liquid Fuels” I thought it was science fiction. In a bold bet that the surplus of cheap natural gas in the United States will last for many years, a South African energy company announced that it would build America’s first commercial plant to change natural gas to diesel and other liquid fuels.
The New York Times article goes on to say that Sasol has already built smaller plants in South Africa and Qatar and that Sasol has designed its new Louisiana plant to produce 96,000 barrels of fuel a day using its “gas to liquids,” or G.T.L., technology. The Louisiana plant is projected to be the second-largest plant of its kind in the world, after Royal Dutch Shell’s Pearl plant in Qatar, and will cost $11 billion to $14 billion to build. So why construct this plant in Louisiana? It’s the proximity to abundant shale gas. The New York Times goes on to explain that an expansion in shale drilling has reduced the price of natural gas in the United States. As a result, encouraging many energy and chemical companies to construct and expand manufacturing plants around the Gulf of Mexico to create a variety of petrochemicals. The best part about this project is the estimated permanent jobs it will create; New York Times stated that “Sasol estimated that the plant would create at least 1,200 permanent jobs and 7,000 construction jobs. Production is scheduled to begin in 2018.”
This is good for the Gulf of Mexico and the American economy. This new project will bring more jobs which will lower the jobless rate and bring more revenue to the local government. I just hope that strong environmental and ethical oversight is being implemented because the last thing Gulf of Mexico needs is another disaster.
Click Here to read the full New York Times article.
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