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Yuhuang Chemical Inc. plans to build a $1.85 billion methanol manufacturing complex on the Mississippi River in St. James Parish, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Port of South Louisiana officials announced late last week.The project represents the first major foreign direct investment by a Chinese company in Louisiana, state and port officials said in a press release. Construction is slated to begin in 2016, with the first-phase facility to launch operations at the port by 2018.After the first methanol plant is completed, Yuhuang Chemical plans to build a second methanol plant. A third phase calls for constructing a methanol derivatives plant that would produce intermediate chemicals. Most of the methanol produced at the complex will be exported by oceangoing vessels to China, with about 20 percent to 30 percent of the methanol to be shipped by rail and barge to North American customers."Foreign direct investment projects add great value to our state by creating high-paying jobs, increased levels of international trade and extraordinary career opportunities for the families of Louisiana," said Jindal. The facility’s port location fits well with the company's strategy to leverage the advantage of natural gas feedstocks, Yuhuang Chemical officials said, adding that the company aims to develop into a world leader in petrochemicals and fine chemicals.