ITEP approval moves Grön Fuels step closer to port energy project

A massive renewable energy facility planned for the Port of Greater Baton Rouge moved one step closer to reality Wednesday, when the Louisiana Board of Commerce and Industry approved a property tax abatement for the project under the Industrial Tax Exemption Program.

Grön Fuels was granted a 10-year tax break worth nearly $120 million a year on its proposed $9.2 billion clean energy complex in west Baton Rouge, which, when completed, would be one of the largest renewable diesel facilities in the country with an output of 60,000 barrels per day.

According to documents filed with the state BC&I, the project will create 514 permanent jobs with more than $69 million in annual salaries, and 3,000 construction jobs with salaries totaling $117 million.

The board unanimously approved the incentive request.

“The public-private collaboration was key in reaching this important milestone towards the long-term vision for the Grön Fuels $9.2 billion clean energy complex,” says Daniel J Shapiro, senior managing partner, co-founder and CEO for Fidelis Infrastructure LP.

Though the ITEP approval was a key step in the process, Fidelis Infrastructure, the investment fund behind Grön Fuels, won’t make a final investment decision on the project until later this year.

Before then, the company has to secure environmental permits and finalize an engineering contract.

The company also has to finalize offtake agreements with buyers for the renewable diesel the facility will produce. Last fall, Grön officials said they had offtake agreements in the works, as well as a letter of intent to work with Colonial Pipeline and Bengal Pipeline to establish new connectivity from the planned facility to the largest refined products pipeline system in the U.S.

Projects like Grön’s represent a new frontier for Louisiana’s energy industry at a time when the world is slowly moving away from its reliance on fossil fuels. Renewable diesel is particularly attractive for Louisiana because it is a drop-in fuel, meaning it is compatible with the existing infrastructure in the state.

Last fall, Grön signed a 50-year lease with the Port of Greater Baton Rouge for the site—which comprises 164 acres just west of the Genesis Energy terminal at the port’s Inland Rivers Marine Terminal.