TopChem cancels Pollock plant


The Lithuanian investors behind a proposed ammonia plant in Louisiana have put the project “on hold indefinitely,” according to local economic development officials quoted in the local press this week.

“We’re disappointed that the TopChem project has been suspended,” Jim Clinton, president and CEO of CLEDA, said. “We will work with Grant Parish and Louisiana Economic Development leaders to repurpose the plant, which is one of the many economic assets in Central Louisiana. In addition, we will continue to work with Investimus Foris as they review their options” …

Investimus Foris officials said the company is weighing its options, including whether to sell the property to another company or bring in other investors. Investimus Foris board Chairman Arunas Laurinaitis indicated that the company would now explore different scenarios.
KALB, Grant Parish plant project suspended, 03/31/2017

The Lithuanian parent company, Investimus Foris, had established its local operating company, TopChem Pollock LLC, at the end of 2015, and the project had received its air permit approvals in December 2016.

At that time, the CEO stated that they were expecting to break ground in Q2 2017 for start-up in Q2 2019. The plant would have had an annual capacity of half a million tons of ammonia.

Full details on the project are in my Research Note for Pollock, LA, and more details are in my February 2017 update, which includes this quote from a local economic development manager that, with hindsight, might suggest the simplest reason for cancelling the project: engineering cost projections could just have been too high:

“I don’t know if I have permission to say this, but I’ve got the microphone, that $270 million is not being borrowed, it’s coming out [of] their pocket, it’s their money that they’re spending here … and they’re not spending $270 million here to not be successful.”
LDEQ Public Hearing Transcript, pp30-31, 12/06/2016

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