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Statement from U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker on Final Investment Decision in Louisiana by Sasol Limited

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 27, 2014
News Media Contact:
Office of Public Affairs, 202-482-4883

SelectUSA provided key assistance to moving $8 billion investment forward

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today issued the following statement regarding Sasol Limited’s energy development in Louisiana. Today, Sasol issued the final investment decision by its Board of Directors on the ethane cracker and derivatives project planned for Southwest Louisiana. The company will spend $8 billion to build the complex and in the process create 500 direct new jobs, more than 5,000 construction jobs, and thousands of indirect jobs in Louisiana and other parts of the United States. 

SelectUSA, the U.S. government-wide program housed within the Department of Commerce, worked closely with the state through the Louisiana Economic Development (LED) office to advocate for this investment. SelectUSA, which serves as a single point of contact at the federal level, coordinated with several federal agencies to provide critical assistance to Sasol and LED during the process leading up to this final decision.

The following is a statement from U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker on the Sasol investment:

“Congratulations to Sasol, the State of Louisiana, and the people of Lake Charles on this landmark investment. We’re thrilled that Sasol chose the United States for this project, and we look forward to long-term cooperation. This deal is a testament to America’s strong investment climate, and the message to businesses around the world is clear: America is Open for Business. At the Commerce Department, we are committed to doing everything we can to provide the services that companies need to invest and create jobs in the United States.

This historic investment creates thousands of jobs, while also contributing to the renaissance of the United States as the leading location for foreign direct investment. In 2014, the United States once again took the top spot in A.T. Kearney’s Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index with the highest positive rating by international executives in the 16-year history of the survey. In August, the Commerce Department released data showing that the United States attracted $231 billion in foreign direct investment in 2013, up from $161 billion dollars in 2012. Our team at SelectUSA continues to work directly with investors, as well as U.S. state and local governments, to facilitate this kind of job-creating investment and I am proud that they were able to assist with this investment decision.

Last year, Sasol shared their commitment to the U.S. market with the international investment community at the SelectUSA Investment Summit, and we congratulate David Constable and his team as Sasol prepares to move forward. We see both Sasol and Louisiana Economic Development as collaborative partners who are working with us to make workforce development a priority. American workers are the most productive in the world and job training tools developed with companies like Sasol are essential for keeping our workforce competitive.”

Beginning in mid-2012, SelectUSA has worked closely with the company and LED. Starting in 2013, SelectUSA coordinated with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, as well as Commerce’s Economic Development Administration and Minority Business Development Agency, to provide information and resources on workforce development. In December 2013, Sasol launched a Southwest Louisiana Workforce Resource Guide in conjunction with local partners developed through extensive community consultations. Earlier this month, Sasol partnered with the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana and announced the creation of a pilot scholarship fund for job training as the second step of the Southwest Louisiana Workforce Resource Guide and corresponding mentor program.

About SelectUSA:  Established by President Obama in 2011, the program promotes and facilitates business investment into the United States.  Housed within the U.S. Department of Commerce, SelectUSA coordinates related federal government agencies to serve as a single point of contact for investors.   SelectUSA assists U.S. economic development organizations to compete globally for investment by providing information, a platform for international marketing, and high-level advocacy.  SelectUSA also helps investors find the information they need to make decisions; connect to the right people at the local level; navigate the federal regulatory system; and find solutions to issues related to the federal government.  On March 23-24, 2015, Secretary Penny Pritzker will host the second SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, D.C.