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Southwest Louisiana: The Place to Be

Businesses of all types and sizes are racing to set up shop in Southwest Louisiana.

By Joe Morris on May 16, 2023

Horseshoe Casino and Hotel
Jeff Adkins

Unprecedented interest in this business-friendly area means that land and facilities are getting snapped up fast. Never fear, though – there’s still plenty of room to be found throughout the region.

Fueling Growth

While new industries are arriving in abundance, the region continues its longtime appeal to energy-related companies. The latest to move into this market is Virginia-based Venture Global LNG, which is building a $10 billion liquefied natural gas terminal in Cameron Parish.

In addition to an estimated 200 permanent jobs, with an average salary of $120,000, the facility is on deck to generate more than 867 indirect jobs and 2,300 construction jobs as part of its overall economic impact.

The 650-acre project will begin coming out of the ground in 2023, and the company plans to start shipping liquefied natural gas, or LNG, in 2025. Known as CP2, the facility will be adjacent to a Calcasieu Pass terminal and is currently under construction. The two will work in tandem to produce up to 30 million metric tons of LNG each year, and eventually will be joined with another terminal 20 miles south of New Orleans in Plaquemines Parish. All told, Venture Global is investing $23 billion into the state.

“It is incorporating clean energy technology that reduces the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere, which is significant for our environment,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said when the project was announced. “As Louisiana pursues a goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, projects that feature carbon capture and sequestration allow our state to sustain industry without sacrificing our long-term carbon-reduction goals.”

Venture Global CEO Mike Sabel says the investment in Southwest Louisiana – an international hub for LNG exporting – and the utilization of carbon capture technology are part of the company’s efforts to provide the “cleanest low-cost LNG in North America.”

Greenbery Industrial SWLA
Megan Babin Photography

Rising Tides

The region’s maritime history also is contributing to its present success. Greenberry Industrial, a Washington-based fabricator and contractor, is converting the former Gulf Islands Shipyards facility in Jeff Davis Parish into a new manufacturing plant that is expected to add 100 jobs, with an average salary of $62,000. The project is also anticipated to create 144 indirect jobs.

“We look forward to partnering with the community in growing our business, while investing in the Jennings site and hiring new Greenberry employees from the local area,” Greenberry CEO Jarrett Pugh said in a release. 

The 180-acre site alongside the Mermentau River will produce heavy industrial modules for petrochemical, maritime, energy, pulp and paper, and high-tech semiconductor industries.

Greenberry is investing $500,000 to retrofit the facility with updated equipment, according to state economic development officials, who say the site upgrades will be complete by the end of April 2023, with commercial operations beginning soon thereafter.

The Greenberry Industrial plant will produce heavy industrial modules for petrochemical, maritime, energy, pulp and paper, and high-tech semiconductor industries.

On the Money

A former riverboat casino has been brought ashore and turned into a land-based attraction. Another entrant into Southwest Louisiana is the Horseshoe Casino, which recently opened 60,000 square feet of casino space at the former Isle of Capri location. Along with new and improved casino space, the facility features a fully renovated hotel and new restaurants, including Brew Brothers, 7 Seven Noodle Bar and The Slice Pizzeria and Pasta.

The diversity reflected in these new companies, not to mention dozens of others that are moving into or expanding in Southwest Louisiana, showcases the region’s appeal.

Complete with a ready workforce, stellar quality of life, and local, regional and state partners committed to business growth and success, Southwest Louisiana is emerging as one of the best places to build a business in the Southeast.

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