St. James Parish will be the site of a $9.4-billion chemical manufacturing complex that state officials anticipate will bring in more than 8,000 construction jobs.

Formosa Petrochemical Corp. purchased a 2,400-acre site for the complex along the west bank of the Mississippi River, just downriver from the Sunshine Bridge.

Pending the completion and approval of permits that have been filed for the site, construction could begin as early as 2019 in what officials estimate will be a 10-year building and development process.

“The project is in the permitting phase, hence project details are still being finalized. The permitting process can take around one year to complete,” says project representative Janile Parks.

Construction will take place in two phases. The first phase will consist of an ethylene plant, associated polymer plants, an ethylene glycol plant, a propylene plant and associated polymer plant, and ancillary support facilities for product loading and utilities, including electricity and wastewater treatment. The second phase will consist of an additional ethylene plant, associated polymer plants and an ethylene glycol plant.

The project must undergo a rigorous federal and state permitting process before receiving approval to move forward. It will be designed and constructed to meet or exceed environmental safety standards.

To secure the project, the state of Louisiana offered a competitive incentive package that would include a $12 million performance-based grant to offset infrastructure costs.

An economic impact study by LSU economist James Richardson forecasts the 10-year construction period will yield $362 million in new state and local taxes, with an additional yield of $313 million in new state and local taxes during the initial 10 years of operation, beginning in 2025.

Officials with Louisiana Economic Development predict the construction work force will peak at more than 8,000 people, with development under way between 2019 and 2028.

Formosa plans to operate the complex under its subsidiary and Louisiana registered company, FG LA LLC, and has dubbed the job as “The Sunshine Project.”

“We will work to keep the community updated and informed at each stage of this project,” says Keh-Yen Lin, CEO of the FG LA LLC project and executive vice president of Formosa Petrochemical Corp.