SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – BIA Energy Operating Company has announced that it is looking into bringing a $550 million blue methanol production plant at the Port of Caddo-Bossier in Shreveport and is estimated to bring hundreds of direct and indirect jobs.

Plans for the proposed plant include a production capability of 530,000 metric tons of methanol annually, using natural gas as a feedstock. The plant would feature carbon capture capabilities, reducing carbon dioxide, or CO2, emissions by more than 90 percent compared to other methanol plants.

“Louisiana welcomes and supports Bia Energy’s plans for investment, job creation, and increased economic activity in Northwest Louisiana,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a release. “BEOC’s proposed use of carbon capture technology is important, as we continue a trend of industrial growth in Louisiana that aligns with our commitment to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. We look forward to seeing this project progress and become operational in the near term.”

Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project would result in 75 direct jobs and 390 indirect jobs, for a total of 465 new jobs in Louisiana’s Northwest region. Nearly 350 construction jobs would be created at peak construction for the project.

Methanol is a versatile compound used in thousands of products including paints, synthetic fibers, solvents, carpets, windshield washer fluid, and more. It can also be used as a transportation fuel and fuel cell hydrogen carrier, as well as for wastewater denitrification, and electricity generation. Blue methanol is produced using blue hydrogen in combination with carbon capture technology, vastly reducing well-to-tank carbon dioxide emissions. 

If the project moves forward, the Silicon Valley-based company plans to locate its facility on a 74-acre site located at the Port of Caddo-Bossier. The company is expected to make a final decision in the 1st quarter of 2022, with construction expected to last approximately two years, and commercial operations to begin soon after.