Work to begin soon on renewable energy plant south of Plaquemine

Staff Report

Construction is expected to begin soon on a $740 million renewable energy plant south of Plaquemine that got final approval from the state earlier this year.

Kindle Energy has plans for a $740 million renewable energy plant south of Plaquemine.

Work on the natural gas-powered generation plant that the Louisiana Public Service Commission approved earlier this year could begin in the first quarter of next year, Iberville Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso said.

The 1803 Agreement the PSC approved in January put the wheels in motion for Princeton, New Jersey-based Kindle Energy to locate in Iberville Parish.

Kindle has an option on 50 acres of privately owned property where it plans to build a plant along River Road between SNF Flopam and Shintech.

The Kindle Energy-Magnolia Power LLC Project will create between 500 and 600 construction jobs and provide between 20 and 25 permanent jobs.

Anticipated startup date is 2025.

The $1.5 billion plan the PSC approved last week will allow cooperatives to buy power from out-of-state utility companies.  

The 700-megawatt advanced class combined cycle will serve Louisiana customers under a stable long-term contract. The facility will be capable of using 50 percent hydrogen for fuel on day one, according to Kindle.

The plant will utilize the latest natural gas turbine technology.

Kindle also manages and operates nearly 6.5 GigaWatts of generation located in Texas, Ohio and Indiana, capable of powering approximately 5.2 million homes.

The plans moved forward after two years of discussion between Kindle and Iberville Parish officials.

The geographic location along the Mississippi River continues to help parish tax revenue, Ourso said.

“It makes our jobs much easier here in giving opportunities for our people to have employment and to generate tax revenue for us to serve our people with roads and drainage and schools to the children of our parish,” Ourso said. “All of the entities throughout our parish benefit from that, whether you’re from White Castle or Maringouin or wherever …everyone benefits from the tax base here.”

Work on the facility comes during a period of industrial growth in the region, which has Shintech’s expansion of facilities in Iberville and West Baton Rouge parishes.

On the Eastbank, a facility in St. Gabriel is one of two Louisiana companies that were awarded $320 million in U.S. Department of Energy funding last month from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) to expand manufacturing of electric vehicle battery components.

Koura has been awarded $100 million to build the first U.S. manufacturing plant for lithium hexafluoride phosphate (LiPF6) on the grounds of the company’s existing site in St. Gabriel.

The new plant is expected to create up to 80 new jobs. Meanwhile, the Iberville Parish School Board and St. Gabriel City Council approved ITEPs for the Koura project, as well as a fertilizer plan on the Iberville/Ascension line between St. Gabriel and Geismar.