Another victory for St. James industry

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 11, 2012



ST. JAMES – NuStar Energy LP officially announced its plans Wednesday to invest about $365 million in an expansion project at the company’s St. James petroleum tank terminal.

Gov. Bobby Jindal joined NuStar officials, various St. James Council members and Parish President Timmy Roussel at the company’s facility to celebrate the announcement. The expansion will boost the terminal’s storage capacity from 8 million to 11 million.

Jindal said the additions at NuStar would add 32 new direct jobs with an average salary of $98,000 a year and could also bring more than 260 new indirect jobs into the state and parish economy. He said the company also plans to retain 23 existing jobs at the site, located on the west bank of the Mississippi River.

“Today’s announcement is great news for St. James Parish and our state, but our work is not done yet,” Jindal said. “In order to keep our economy growing, we must continue to aggressively pursue new job opportunities, and we must improve our education system to make sure our people are prepared for jobs in the 21st century workforce.”

The state began working with NuStar more than a year ago to develop the expansion project. The existing terminal provides a connection via pipeline and shipping to a number of major energy companies that have a presence in the area, including Motiva refinery and Plains All-American storage terminal. NuStar expects to complete the work in 2016.

To attract the new investment, the state Department of Economic Development offered the state’s Modernization Tax Credit, which provides a 5 percent refundable tax credit, worth $3 million to NuStar over a five-year period. The company also is expected to utilize Louisiana’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.

Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret said later that NuStar is also utilizing Gulf Opportunity Zone Bonds to fund nearly the entire project. NuStar has received more than $360 million in GO Zone bonds, according to state figures.

“The tax benefits that NuStar will realize as part of this project are just one example of how Louisiana and St. James Parish have helped NuStar’s investments become a reality,” said Curt Anastasio, president and CEO of NuStar. “As a result, we are investing a total of $505 million in our terminal over a five-year period, which will produce tremendous benefits for the Louisiana economy, including the creation of hundreds of jobs with great pay and benefits. These expansion projects also will give our customers much greater ability to move and store production from very significant crude oil discoveries throughout the U.S.”

The NuStar announcement continues a hot streak for economic development in St. James Parish. In December, construction began on the first phase of a more than $3 billion steel and iron manufacturing facility for Nucor Corp. In September, the parish celebrated the opening of a gateway terminal owned by agricultural firm Yara International.

“This is just another step in the right direction when it comes to industry in St. James Parish,” said Roussel. “Even during a time of national economic challenges, you have a stable company like NuStar willing to expand in our parish.”