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$1.3B natural La. gas-to-gasoline plant planned

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) -- G2X Energy Inc. of Houston says it plans a $1.3 billion plant to turn natural gas into gasoline at the Port of Lake Charles.

Louisiana Economic Development said Tuesday the project would create 243 jobs averaging $66,500 a year.

They say G2X Energy will lease 200 acres at the Industrial Canal where it can ship gas by pipeline or sea. However, a final decision is waiting on more feasibility analysis.

State officials said G2X Energy expects a final decision by the end of 2013. Construction would run from 2014 through early 2017, with most hiring completed by the end of 2015.

Louisiana Economic Development offered G2X Energy $5 million for port improvements including an access road, utilities and a dock. G2X Energy also is expected to get tax exemptions for new jobs and new industry.

"Louisiana is an energy-rich state and we're proud of that heritage," Gov. Bobby Jindal said. "In order to keep our energy industry strong, we have made a serious commitment to aggressively pursue companies that want to invest in Louisiana and create jobs here for our people."

The plant will produce methanol from natural gas and convert the methanol to gasoline. That's planned as 90 percent of its production, with the rest as propane.

It's "a proven solution for clean and economic production of transportation fuels from abundant domestic natural gas," G2X Energy President and CEO Timothy Vail said.