Community benefits agreement includes funding for neighbors, housing, health care, a community center, medical transportation, food access and workforce development.
VACHERIE, La. (Jan 18, 2024) – DG Fuels, a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) company, presented a proposal for a legally binding agreement to the St. James Parish Council Wednesday committing $26,050,000 to community programs and philanthropic organizations addressing quality of life needs in St. James Parish. In the agreement, DG Fuels will contribute $9.3 million in up front community investments and another $16.75 million in community benefits over a multiyear period. The agreement is part of the company’s proposal to locate a $3.8 billion SAF facility in the parish.
DG Fuels also released new facility renderings and an economic impact study estimating the complex could deliver more than a $50 billion long-term economic boost to St. James Parish.
The proposed clean fuel complex, located near the community of Moonshine on the west bank of St. James Parish, uses solar power and innovative technology to turn sugar cane trash and plant waste into sustainable aviation fuel that can be used in place of conventional jet fuel to reduce commercial flight CO2 emissions by up to 100%. DG Fuels’ facility will have fewer atmospheric emissions than a standard U.S. hospital, no fossil fuel emissions, no discharge into the Mississippi River and will give farmers a profitable alternative to burn harvesting, which will make the air in St. James cleaner with DG Fuels than without it.
“Our company was created on environmental stewardship, using green technology to improve the communities where we operate environmentally and economically. That starts with focusing first on being a great neighbor,” said Michael C. Darcy, CEO of DG Fuels. “The conversations we’ve had with parish leaders and community members have been invaluable. Now, I’m excited to share what we’ve learned by publishing our proposed community benefits agreement, which reflects the positive impact our environmentally responsible work will have in St. James for decades to come.”
Through one-on-one meetings with neighbors and government officials, DG Fuels identified areas where it could expand its benefits beyond the facility’s footprint. The community benefits agreement was drafted based on these listening sessions. Before the Parish Council meeting Wednesday, DG Fuels hosted neighbors in St. James to discuss all of the details included in the agreement, explain DG Fuels’ technology and share the positive impact on the local economy and environment.
Completion of both the economic study and community benefits agreement are integral steps toward DG Fuels fulfilling its promise of engagement, accountability and transparency as it seeks to ultimately win parish and community approval for its SAF complex.
DG Fuels commissioned BEC Research, LLC, to study the economic impact on St. James Parish of its proposed nearly $4 billion dollar complex. The study was led by Stephen Barnes, PhD, director of Kathleen Blanco Public Policy Center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and finalized in January of 2024. To read the full study, click here.
- DG Fuels is estimated to have a $50 billion impact on the St. James Parish economy over 30 years.
- DG Fuels is projected to purchase $120 million of sugar cane waste with nearly 1/3 coming from St. James Parish farmers.
- During 3 years of construction, from 2024 – 2027, DG Fuels is expected to add $769.8 million in value to the parish annually, which represents more than 25% of the St. James economy.
- During construction, 2,117 jobs in St. James Parish will generate $395.2 million in wages.
- The facility is expected to provide $53.6 million in direct and indirect local sales tax revenue during construction and an estimated $85 million in direct local sales tax revenue over 30 years of operations.
- DG Fuels will create 650 direct jobs and a total of 1,397 indirect jobs in the parish, once the facility is complete and operational.
- In its first year of operations, direct and indirect jobs DG Fuels creates are estimated to pay $160 million in wages and lead to more than $2.5 billion in new economic output for St. James Parish.
Community Benefits Agreement:
With input from residents and local leaders, DG Fuels has proposed a legally binding community benefits agreement committing $26,050,000 to fund outstanding needs in St. James Parish. It was through these listening sessions that community members and leaders identified funding gaps related to quality of life, community and education resources, which DG Fuels address through this legal agreement. To read more about the community benefits agreement, click here.
- Renovations to the Welcome Park Community Center, plus 10-years of funding to support the Center’s operations.
- Donations to the St. James Hospital Wellness Foundation, Inc. for improvements to the West Bank Health Clinic.
- A dedicated fund to support the community of Moonshine.
- Improvements to St. James Parish Public Housing Authority’s low-income developments.
- Dedicated funding for 50 paid internship-apprenticeship positions at DG Fuels for 5 years and ongoing internship apprenticeship positions and/or ongoing community job training programs for an additional 10 years.
- Donations to support improved medical transportation and to attract grocery stores to the west bank of St. James Parish.
The proposed complex is expected to save 1.65 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) from being released annually during air travel once DG Fuels becomes operational.
To receive updates on DG Fuels progress, visit https://louisiana.dgfuels.com/.