Eastman Chemical Co. has signed a letter of intent with Air Products & Chemicals Inc. on a $1.6 billion petroleum-coke fed gasification projects at Beaumont, Texas and Louisiana.
Fluor Corp. Irving, Texas, was named by Eastman to provide front-end engineering and design work for the project.
Eastman Chairman and Chief Executive Brian Ferguson is quoted in the International Herald Tribune saying Eastman expects to own half of the project and expects to announce other investors soon.
The Louisiana facility - in St. James Parish, which is northwest of New Orleans - is expected to be on line in 2010.
The plant will produce anhydrous ammonia for agriculture, methanol, sulfur and industrial-grade carbon dioxide. It will use petroleum coke, a byproduct from refineries, and high-sulfur coal as feedstocks.
Eastman expects the regulatory permit application process to begin later this year.
In Beaumont, KFDM.com is also reporting that The City of Beaumont and Jefferson County will also consider tax incentives for the company.
Construction should be under way by early 2009.
Air Products will market the hydrogen produced by the operation to its Gulf Coast hydrogen supply pipeline network. It will also build and operate new air separation units to produce over 7,000 tons a day of oxygen.
According to company sources up to 1,500 workers are expected to work on construction. When completed, the plant should have a permanent workforce of about 250.