Feature: Chinese enterprise to facilitate regional development in southern U.S. state

From Xinhua News

NEW ORLEANS, the United States, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) — Deep into St. James Parish, southern U.S. state of Louisiana, hundreds of construction workers are busy installing chemical equipment.

Among the vast expanse of sugarcane fields, this site is unique both in its appearance and identity.

Yuhuang Chemical Industries Inc. (YCI), a subsidiary of China’s Shandong Yuhuang Chemical, is constructing a 1.85-billion-dollar methanol production facility here along the Mississippi River.

It is by far the largest Chinese investment in Louisiana’s chemical manufacturing industry.

The YCI began to turn dirt on its 1,300-acre site in January 2017, clearing the way for the first of three construction phases of the methanol plant. The project has entered key phase in construction these days.

“We will gradually place in the majority of the large equipment on foundation, stepping toward assembly stage,” Charlie Yao, CEO of YCI Methanol One, was animated when talking about the recent progress of his venture.

The plant has been hailed by many as a sign of strengthening business ties between China and Louisiana.

“Yuhuang’s methanol project proceeded amid difficulties and challenges. It indicates that China and the United States are highly complementary in economic structure and trade,” said Xu Chen, chairman of the China General Chamber of Commerce-USA (CGCC), which represents more than 1,500 Chinese and U.S. companies. “The project also helps facilitate U.S.-China collaboration.”

The plant is expected to generate approximately 2,000 construction jobs at peak and at least 100 direct permanent jobs during operation.

Ron Gros, a Louisiana local, joined Yuhuang’s methanol project early 2017. With rich working experience in U.S. chemical industry, Gros regarded his debut in the fledging Chinese company as “a good opportunity for his career.”

“It’s been a good working experience to come from the start to watch a chemical plant being built from the ground up,” Gros is also confident about his future advancement.

Yuhuang’s location on the riverfront was “strategic” and “mutually beneficial,” according to Yao, as the facility benefits from the availability of natural gas feedstock and associated infrastructure. Meanwhile, its anchoring brings job opportunities and tax revenues to local communities and helps boost the port industry.

The plant is expected to start commercial production in mid-2020, with a productive capacity of approximately 1.7 million metric tons of methanol per year.

Methanol is used in the manufacturing of countless everyday products, including plywood, carpet, fuels and plastics.

The majority of the methanol produced at the site will be transported by barge and rail to north America, while the rest will be exported to China and Europe by oceangoing vessels, according to the company.

Many foreign companies including those from China are looking to long-term investment in Louisiana and that bodes well for the future of people living in the river parishes, said Paul Aucoin, executive director of the Port of South Louisiana.

Foreign direct investment has become an essential part of economic growth in Louisiana, and China is among the fastest-growing sources of foreign investment in the state, according to local economic development authority.

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U.S., China business leaders want robust economic relations

From Xinhua News

by John S. Marshall

HOUSTON, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) — As the winds of U.S.-China trade tension blow stronger, Chinese and U.S. officials and corporate executives expressed concerns over the negative impact of the trade disputes, expressing hopes for healthier business relations between the two economic giants.

During an economic conference in Houston hosted by the China General Chamber of Commerce (CGCC) on Wednesday, which represents more than 1,500 Chinese and U.S. companies, the chamber’s chairman Xu Chen said in his opening remarks that “China and the U.S. are each other’s most important trading partners.”

Xu, who also serves as the president and chief executive officer of Bank of China USA, said that the escalating trade friction between the two economic giants is already reverberating throughout the economies of both countries and worldwide.

“As you are all well aware, the recent tariff dispute has barely begun, but already has caused significant negative effects across sectors in both economies and world markets,” Xu said at the conference called “Chinese Investment in the U.S. — The Path Forward.”

“Cross-border investments have suffered and the increased costs for U.S. manufacturers will eventually be passed down to consumers,” he said. “Nearly every industry leader and commercial organization has lobbied the U.S. government to revise its strategy on tariffs and seek a greater compromise with the Chinese government.”

The CGCC reported in its 2018 annual survey that Chinese investments have created more than 200,000 U.S. jobs, and CGCC members invested more than 120 billion U.S. dollars in the U.S. economy.

Xu also said that over the last decade, U.S. exports to China have far outpaced exports to the rest of the world, with U.S. goods being shipped to China growing by 86 percent, while the growth rate of goods for other countries across the globe only stands at 21 percent.

“During the recent U.S. Trade Representative hearings on the matter, nearly 360 representatives from American companies voiced their opposition to the current trade war, which suggests that the tariff strategy is both incoherent and causing serious disruption to the global supply chains,” Xu said.

In a separate report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC), a non-governmental trade group that lobbies on behalf of U.S. businesses, the USCC also expressed its concerns about the tariffs.

The group said in an Aug. 24 posting on its website that the decision by the Trump administration to impose a 25-percent tariff on Chinese imports prompted China to retaliate by levying its own tariffs on U.S.-made goods.

“It will hit American consumers and businesses — including manufacturers, farmers, and technology companies — with higher costs on commonly used products and materials, and as a result, it stands to slow the United States’ recent economic resurgence,” the USCC warned.

Corporate executives also voiced their Concerns about economic damage from escalating trade tension in the conference.

“We have been concerned over the climate of the current trade dispute with China,” said Bob Harvey, president and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership.

“It has the potential of very negatively impacting the Houston economy and even impacting our long-term future,” Harvey said.

Charlie Yao, president and CEO of YCI Methanol One, a 5-billion-dollar Chinese petrochemical company in Houston, said the “vast majority” of his company’s employees are based in the United States.

During the conference, Fort Bend County Judge Bob Hebert, who holds office in a county that adjoins Houston’s Harris County, said he and other Fort Bend officials have been working for years trying to attract Chinese companies to his county.

“We have over the years developed a position that says, ‘Fort Bend is open for business.'” Herbert said.

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Chinese Yuhuang’s methanol US project reaches main phase

From Mena FN

(MENAFN) Yuhuang’s methanol project, the largest green field investment in methanol by a Chinese company in southern US state of Louisiana, has made advancement in its construction.

According to Xinhua, CEO of YCI Methanol One said: “The installation of our first major equipment on foundation this week signified our project has entered above-ground construction phase, a new breakthrough in building our facility here.”

“We will gradually place in the majority of the large equipment on foundation, stepping into the construction assembly stage,” he added.

YCI, a fully owned subsidiary of Shandong Yuhuang Chemical Company, is constructing a 1.85-billion-dollar methanol production facility in St. James Parish, Louisiana.

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Chinese company Yuhuang’s methanol project in southern U.S. enters key phase

From Xinhua News

NEW ORLEANS, the United States, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) — Yuhuang’s methanol project, the largest green field investment in methanol by a Chinese company in southern U.S. state of Louisiana, has made breakthrough in its construction, according to Chinese Yuhuang Chemical Industries Inc. (YCI) on Friday.

“The installation of our first major equipment on foundation this week signified our project has entered above-ground construction phase, a new breakthrough in building our facility here,” Charlie Yao, CEO of YCI Methanol One, told Xinhua.

“We will gradually place in the majority of the large equipment on foundation, stepping into the construction assembly stage,” Yao added.

YCI, a wholly owned subsidiary of Shandong Yuhuang Chemical Company, is constructing a 1.85-billion-dollar methanol production facility in St. James Parish, Louisiana.

The methanol production facility began in January 2017, while commercial production of methanol is expected to begin in mid-2020.

It is estimated to provide about 2,000 jobs at the peak of its construction phase, and during the operation phase, the plant is expected to add at least 100 permanent jobs, said Yao.

Koch Methanol, an affiliate of Koch Industries, has agreed to buy into the new facility, according to a joint agreement by Koch Methanol and YCI last week.

As part of its investment, affiliates of Koch Methanol will receive the exclusive methanol offtake rights from the new facility, as well as construct, own and operate the methanol terminal assets for the outbound flow of methanol.

“The progress Yuhuang’s methanol project has made amid challenges these days indicates that China and the United States are highly complementary in economic structure and trade,” said Xu Chen, chairman of the China General Chamber of Commerce-USA (CGCC), which represents more than 1,500 Chinese and U.S. companies.

Yuhuang’s methanol production facility will be capable of producing approximately 1.7 million metric tons of methanol per year.

Methanol is used in the manufacturing of countless everyday products, including plywood, carpet, fuels and plastics.

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