LONDON, UK – Friday, Gov. John Bel Edwards and a delegation of government officials and business leaders participated in a series of discussions about energy transition with senior executives of the world’s largest companies operating in Louisiana. Discussions covered a wide range of issues affecting the various energy sectors, from the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war on European demand for Louisiana natural gas, to the establishment of offshore wind, hydrogen, biomass and renewable fuel industry groups around the country.
The governor was joined on the second day of economic mission meetings by representatives of LED, the Department of Transportation and Development, the Louisiana Offshore Terminal Authority, the Port of New Orleans, the Port of South Louisiana and the Louisiana Committee of 100 for Economic Development.
“Today’s meetings with four very important but very different companies showed how complex and diverse the energy sector is, and how our state is uniquely prepared to meet the challenges at hand,” said Gov. Edwards. “Time and time again we have heard of the high price placed by the world’s largest investors on our government’s commitment to climate action and a more sustainable approach. By combining this long-term vision with abundant natural resources, logistical resources and a skilled workforce, Louisiana can lead America’s clean energy economy for generations to come. ”
Cheniere Energy, the No. 1 producer of liquefied natural gas in the US, kicked off the energy transition day with a discussion about the rise of LNG in the global economy. Cheniere executives described the important role played in the global energy market by LNG produced and exported in Louisiana – including Cheniere’s Sabine Pass Liquefaction facility, which adds a third marine facility authorized to load the world’s largest LNG carriers for export. The governor promoted Louisiana’s advantage of preparing for the production and export of LNG, and reiterated the importance of incorporating carbon capture and capture to reduce greenhouse gas emissions during the production process.
“When it comes to America’s liquefied natural gas, Governor Edwards and Louisiana’s economic development leaders clearly appreciate the global energy security and benefits of LNG and its importance to Louisiana’s economy,” said Corey Grindal, Cheniere’s vice president of global marketing. “We appreciate the governor’s interest in the important role Cheniere and Louisiana play in the world’s energy landscape.”
The delegation visited the Shell Centre, the global energy company’s headquarters in central London, to get an overview of the company’s expanding portfolio of clean energy investments. Huibert Vigeveno, Shell’s executive committee member and executive vice president, updated the governor on the company’s investment in Louisiana and reiterated Shell’s shared commitment to leadership in the energy transition and innovation.
“I am bullish on Shell’s future in Louisiana, as we transform our US Gulf Coast assets to meet the needs of our customers,” said Vigeveno. “Building more than 100 years in Louisiana, Shell is investing in its Norco, Eismar and Convent facilities to deliver the low-carbon fuels and sustainable chemicals our customers demand. I had the honor of welcoming Governor Edwards and a government delegation and Committee of 100 representatives to London to update us on our progress, including plans to repurpose the Shell’s Convent site (as a renewable fuel facility).
Following a lunch meeting with Louisiana port leaders and the British Ports Association, the delegation met with David Burns, vice president of clean energy project development at Linde, an industrial gas production and engineering company that merged with Praxair in 2018. a leader in the clean hydrogen industry. Gov. Edwards outed the US Department of Commerce’s latest grant of $50 million to H2theFuture, a broad coalition of 25 partners seeking to establish a clean hydrogen energy cluster in southern Louisiana.
“We appreciate the opportunity to speak with the governor and his team to reinforce the important role Louisiana can play in the energy transition,” Burns said. “Linde’s technology can help customers reduce emissions, and we will support Louisiana’s efforts to meet its climate goals. The chemical and energy sectors are already heavily invested in the state, and we see support for clean energy leading to even greater demand. ”
The delegation also met on Friday with the leadership of Drax, a bioenergy company with wood pellet production facilities in Louisiana that supports the production of renewable energy for UK homes and businesses, as well as customers in Europe and Asia.
“Gov. Edwards and the state of Louisiana are taking a leading role in providing the business environment for clean energy investments in bioenergy that will help deliver climate change solutions,” said Drax Group CEO Will Gardiner. “Louisiana already supports renewable energy and energy security through natural resources. government and sustainably managed forests, which provide the material we use to produce wood pellets. We are also looking at ways to use bioenergy through carbon capture and storage (BECCS) as part of our ambition to be a world leader in this carbon removal technology.”
Gov. Edwards will meet Saturday with Louisiana media in London to cover the New Orleans Saints’ NFL International Series contest against the Minnesota Vikings. He will visit with business leaders and British dignitaries at Tottenham Stadium before returning to Louisiana later on Monday.