Logistics Networks Are Getting Back On Track

Logistics Networks Are Getting Back On Track

Southwest Louisiana is in the midst of becoming the Clean Energy Capital of the World. SWLA is busy installing the infrastructure the soon will make the region the largest exporting hub for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in North America.

The area consists of five parishes Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jeff Davis. As a whole, the region is located near the Sabine River, which makes the state of Texas our nearest neighbor. Professionals in the academic world contend that Southwest Louisiana is part of the Houston Megalopolis.

SWLA’s claim to the title of Clean Energy Capital of the World is backed by an unmatched surge in natural gas production. Currently, the region has $90 billion in announced development projects, leading the nation Eight LNG export terminals are in the process of being constructed or close to breaking ground in the region: Cheniere LNG ($20 billion); Cameron LNG ($10 billion); Lake Charles LNG/BG ($10 billion); Southern California Telephone and Electric LNG ($9.25 billion); Venture Global LNG ($4.25 billion); Magnolia LNG ($3.5 billion); Live Oak LNG ($2 billion); and Commonwealth LNG ($200 million).

Added to those projects are two liquid-to-gas facilities that have been announced, including Sasol North America ($14 billion) and Juniper GTL ($100 million). Other major projects include: Sasol Ethanol Cracker ($8.9 billion); Axiall/Lotte ($3 billion); Big Lake Fuels/G2X $1.6 billion; Lakes at Morganfield ($495 million); Westlake Chemical ($330 million); Bell Savanne ($270 million); Port of Lake Charles/IFG Holdings ($192 million); ART ($135 million); and Packaging of America ($111 million).

“We are excited about the opportunity that has been created due to all of the industrial development that is happening in our region,” said George Swift, president and CEO of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. “At the turn of the new century, nobody in our area would have thought that the possibility of everyone living here would have the chance to make a decent wage or start a business in a diversified market would exist.”

Lake Charles is the largest city in the five parish area, followed by Sulphur. The five parish region has a population of 296,065.

Workforce development has been a key topic for governmental and business leaders. It is estimated that between 2015 and 2019, 58,776 jobs will be created as a result of the announced projects. Of that number, 40,447 are construction jobs and 18,329 will be permanent.

What sparked the interest in Southwest Louisiana?

“Our region has infrastructure. Interstate 10 passes through, there are seven ports, eight airports, railway, the Calcasieu Parish Ship Channel (which is 34 miles from the Gulf of Mexico), Intercoastal Canal, industrial infrastructure, a university and community college, and a population that wants to work and wants better for their families,” Swift said.

Along with finding ways to fill the job needs, area governmental and business leaders are striving to make sure entrepreneurs are afforded the chance to capitalize off the historic economic growth that will be experienced in the region.

The Southwest Louisiana Entrepreneurial and Economic Development Center and Business Incubator at McNeese State University is home to the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, the Imperial Calcasieu Regional Planning and Development Commission, Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese State University, Institute for Industry-Education Collaboration, McNeese State University Innovation Center and Business Incubation Studio, Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) and the Louisiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center (LA PTAC).

Within the walls of the $12 million facility, potential and current entrepreneurs get access to Internet, utilities, telephone equipment, conference rooms, receptionist, professional address, building security, private parking, guest parking, copier/printer, office furniture, start-up space and business mentoring on a variety of subjects.

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