Sunday, April 14, 2024

Monarch Energy proposes $426M investment for carbon-free hydrogen production facility in Ascension Parish

by BIZ Magazine

ASCENSION PARISH, La. – Monarch Energy, an energy company focused on decarbonizing the hydrogen production process, announced it is exploring building a $426 million facility in Ascension Parish. The company estimates the proposed facility would employ a carbon-free process to manufacture 120,000 kilograms of hydrogen per day to be sold as a “green” feedstock for a wide range of industrial and chemical processes.

If the project moves forward as outlined, Monarch Energy expects to create 44 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of more than $63,000. It also anticipates the creation of about 300 construction jobs at peak construction. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project would result in an additional 105 new indirect jobs, for a total of 149 potential new jobs in the Capital Region.

“Monarch Energy’s commitment to decarbonizing hydrogen production aligns perfectly with Louisiana’s all-of-the-above energy strategy,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “If this project moves forward, it will provide another economic boost to the Capital Region, create good-paying jobs and further solidify Louisiana’s standing as the first choice for energy innovation investment.”

Monarch Energy plans to utilize electrolysis, the use of electricity to break down water into hydrogen and oxygen, in the manufacturing process. This would qualify the hydrogen as “green” or no-carbon because its production would not release carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

“We are pleased to be working with LED to develop a project that supports the local community by bringing investment and jobs to the region,” Monarch Energy CEO Ben Alingh said. “We are looking forward to adding to the legacy of the local industrial community of Ascension Parish and helping to support the energy transition.”

The company expects to make a final investment decision and begin construction in 2025. It anticipates commercial operations to commence in 2027.

“Being considered for the future home of Monarch’s green hydrogen plant isn’t just about embracing new technology; it’s about nurturing a thriving workforce and fostering a sustainable community,” said Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment. “Our enthusiasm today will fuel careers and innovation for years to come.”

To support the project in Ascension, the state of Louisiana has prepared a competitive incentives package that would include the comprehensive workforce development solutions of LED FastStart and a $500,000 performance-based forgivable loan from the Economic Development Award Program for site and infrastructure improvements. If the project moves forward, the company is expected to participate in the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.

“Economic prosperity fused with environmental stewardship – that’s the promise of investments in clean technology,” said Ascension Economic Development Corporation president and CEO Kate MacArthur. “We’re excited about Monarch Energy’s project and look forward to working together to transform possibility into prosperity.”

“Monarch Energy’s consideration of a new green hydrogen facility is an exciting addition to the transitional energy cluster developing through the Baton Rouge Carbon Reduction Alliance and the H2theFuture coalition across south Louisiana,” said Adam Knapp, Baton Rouge Area Chamber president & CEO. “We look forward to working alongside Monarch Energy and our Ascension Parish partners to move this project forward, and show the world that Louisiana is ground zero for net zero projects.”

Register to be notified about job opportunities, hiring events and news updates with Monarch Energy here.

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