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(AP) - South African chemicals and energy company Sasol Ltd. said it could spend up to $21 billion to build a complex in Louisiana to turn natural gas into diesel, other fuels and chemicals.

The company said Monday that it will begin initial engineering work on a long-discussed complex in Westlake, La., that will use domestic natural gas, which is among the cheapest in the world, to make higher-value chemicals and fuels.

The company plans to first spend $5 billion to $7 billion on a chemical plant and later add an $11 billion to $14 billion gas-to-liquids plant that will turn natural gas into diesel.

The complex, if built, will employ 7,000 construction workers during peak construction and 1,200 permanent workers, the company said.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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