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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Nov. 21, 201910:10 AM EST

Bill offering $23 million in incentives for natural gas facility filed with City Council

Eagle LNG Partners developing 542 million liquefied natural gas export facility in North Jacksonville.
by: Mike Mendenhall Staff Writer

A bill that extends $23 million in taxpayer-backed incentives for a proposed $542 million liquefied natural gas export facility in North Jacksonville was filed Thursday with the City Council.

Houston-based Eagle LNG Partners is moving forward with development of the plant, first announced in 2013, on 200 acres along Zoo Parkway at the St. Johns River.

City Council President Scott Wilson filed Ordinance 2019-844 on behalf of Mayor Lenny Curry, requesting a $23 million Recaptured Enhanced Value Grant for the project.

A project summary drafted Nov. 4 by the city Office of Economic Development and released Nov. 8 states Eagle LNG will invest $58 million in site facilities and install about $484 million in manufacturing equipment.

The Zoo Parkway property is near JaxPort facilities along the St. Johns River. Eagle LNG spokesman and Dalton Agency President Michael Munz said Nov. 8 that gas shipped from the site will be transported to Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands for power generation. 

If approved, the legislation will refund Eagle LNG 50% of the increase in the site’s property taxes the first 10 years the facility is in operation.

According to the project summary, the incentives will offset “financial obligations the company took on as a result of unexpected delays by various federal government permitting agencies.”

Under the agreement, Eagle LNG estimates it will create 12 jobs at the facility by Dec. 31, 2023, with an average wage of $85,000. 

Kirk Wendland, executive director of city economic development, estimates the export facility will generate $5 million in ad valorem taxes in its first year of operation.

The bill states Wendland’s office will be responsible for ensuring Eagle LNG hits economic targets as the REV grant is implemented.

Eagle LNG already has a presence in Jacksonville, operating a 200,000-gallon-per-day capacity plant in Maxville. The company’s logistics partner is Crowley Maritime Corp.

The company had planned to begin construction by mid-2016 and open by early 2018, but delays in the federal permitting process slowed the development.

Eagle LNG leaders now plan to begin construction for the project will begin by the end of June. 

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