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Cheniere boosting natural gas export facility by $6 billion

Cheniere Energy is boosting its investment in its Sabine Pass liquefied natural gas export facility in Cameron Parish by $6 billion to build two production units in addition to the four already under construction. The two units lift the total project cost to $18 billion, the company said. About 120 new direct jobs will be created on… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge casino revenue up slightly in August

Baton Rouge’s three riverboat casinos brought in slightly more money in August than they did the year before, thanks to gains at the Belle of Baton Rouge and L’Auberge. The riverboats brought in just over $24.4 million in August, compared with just over $24.3 million in August 2013, a 0.4 percent gain, according to figures released… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge Marriott online auction ends with $21.4 million bid

An online auction of the Baton Rouge Marriott ended Wednesday afternoon with a high bid of $21.4 million. Officials with, which had the listing for the 299-room hotel and the 5.5 acres of land it sits on, would not disclose who the winning bidder was. It is not known if the bid will be accepted.… Continue reading →

Elio Motors to sell excess equipment at Shreveport plant

Elio Motors Inc., which plans to make a three-wheeled vehicle at former General Motors manufacturing facility in Shreveport, said Wednesday that it will work with manufacturing partner Comau to sell surplus equipment from the plant. Elio said the strategy allows it to reuse the machinery it needs to manufacture its high-mileage vehicle, raise funds that will go… Continue reading →

BBB names Torch ethics award winners

The Better Business Bureau of South Central Louisiana announced the winners of its 2014 Douglas Manship Sr. Torch Award for Ethics in Business. They are SRS Wealth Management Group, Bozeman Distributors, Louisiana Workers Compensation Corp. and Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. The Manship Award was established in 2001 to honor businesses that exhibit the highest… Continue reading →

Tech Q&A: Fixing a PC despite a blank screen

The screen has turned black on my wife’s all-in-one PC, a desktop model on which the screen and computer are a single unit. Only the cursor arrow is visible on the screen of her HP Omni model 120. What can we do? — Renato Bunal, Jacksonville, Florida If you’re lucky, the problem can be solved simply.… Continue reading →

Norco renewable diesel plant returning to operation

The Diamond Green Diesel facility in Norco is expected to return to production next week, according to joint-venture partner Darling Ingredients. The facility has been shut down since an explosion and fire on Aug. 3. Darling said the start-up process began on Sept. 15. No one was injured in the blast. Diamond Green, a joint-venture between… Continue reading →

Entergy, New York square off over nuke plant design

New Orleans-based Entergy Corp. and New York state regulators are battling over the design of the cooling towers at Indian Point Energy Center, a nuclear power plant, and the impact on aquatic life in the Hudson River, according to The Wall Street Journal. The plant uses up to 2.5 billion gallons of water a day for cooling… Continue reading →

Ranger Offshore acquiring Technip USA’s diving assets

Ranger Offshore Inc., a global marine and subsea construction and support services contractor to the offshore oil and gas industry, has signed an agreement to acquire Technip USA’s diving assets. The assets are used in the U.S. and Mexican Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean for diving support construction services directly to Technip USA and third party customers.… Continue reading →

Albemarle, Rockwood set shareholder vote

Specialty chemical maker Albemarle Corp. and acquisition target Rockwood Holdings have both set Nov. 14 as the date of shareholder votes on the $6.2 billion cash-and-stock deal. Both meetings will begin at 8 a.m. Albemarle’s meeting will be held at the company’s headquarters at 451 Florida St. in Baton Rouge. Rockwood shareholders will meet at the company’s… Continue reading →

Work-related deaths dip in Louisiana

Work-related accidents killed 114 people in Louisiana in 2013, two less than in 2012, according to a preliminary count by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in its Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. The industries that reported the most fatalities in 2013 were trade, transportation and utilities with 37; construction, 17; natural resources and mining, 15; professional… Continue reading →

Natural gas production linked to earthquakes in Colorado, New Mexico

Researchers say injecting wastewater deep underground, a common method of disposing of the water produced from natural gas wells, caused the dramatic rise in earthquakes in Colorado and New Mexico since 2001. A new study published in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America says there have been 16 earthquakes of 3.8 magnitude or greater in… Continue reading →

Planning team tours Government Street redevelopment site

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- James Andermann, right, directs attention of a pre-planning team to features of the former Entergy site on Government street. Andres Duany, second from right, the urban planner who led development of the master plan for downtown Baton Rouge, was part of the tour group.

The team that is mapping out the redevelopment of a portion of midcity made a brief tour Monday of the former Entergy site on Government Street that is at the core of the 100-acre section. Andres Duany, who leads Duany Plater-Zyberk, the Miami-based company that was

Baton Rouge Metro, other Louisiana airports get grants

Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport received nearly $1.68 million under a U.S. Department of Transportation grant program announced Monday by U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La. Also sharing in $13.32 million earmarked for Louisiana are Lafayette Regional Airport, $1.5 million, and Acadiana Regional Airport in New Iberia, $222,222. The largest DOT grant in Louisiana was $7 million approved… Continue reading →

Tulane Neurosurgery Group to provide services at East Jefferson Hospital

East Jefferson General Hospital

Tulane Neurosurgery Group has taken over neurosurgical services at East Jefferson General Hospital, a move that will bring into the medical center services that had previously been provided at outside clinics. The result could be a financial boost for the struggling hospital. East Jefferson President and CEO Dr. Mark Peters said adding the Tulane… Continue reading →

Louisiana ranks No. 6 state for business

Louisiana ranked No. 6 in Area Development’s 2014 survey of the Top States for Doing Business. The site-selection and facility-planning publication asked location consultants to rank the states on 18 categories, including: Business environment, which included cost of doing business, incentive programs and corporate taxes Labor climate, which includes availability of… Continue reading →

Deer collisions rise in Louisiana

Louisiana ranked No. 38 in the nation in vehicle-deer collisions, with an estimated 9,793 incidents, according to State Farm, the state’s largest insurer. State Farm’s estimates show there is a 1 in 299 chance of a Louisiana driver hitting a deer. A year ago, Louisiana ranked No. 41. Pennsylvania is the top deer collision state, with… Continue reading →

Wall Street Journal: Technological advances extend energy boom

The U.S. energy boom has already lasted longer than expected because technological advances have made oil and natural gas-wells more productive, according to a story in The Wall Street Journal. The “unrecognized but potent trend” should keep production flowing even though the number of drilling rigs working nationwide remains flat, the article says. The energy… Continue reading →

Business Briefs for Sept. 14, 2014

Joey Munn, Progressive Safety Innovators

The LSU AgCenter Food Incubator has received a $25,000 grant from the Louisiana Economic Development Business Incubation Support Program. The funds were awarded through the Louisiana Business Incubator Association and will be used to purchase faster, more efficient processing equipment. “Adding faster processing equipment to our… Continue reading →

People in Business for Sept. 14, 2014

Rene Clouatre, Business First Bank

Rene Clouatre has been named vice president, associate chief credit officer, at Business First Bank. He was a loan review specialist with the FDIC and previously director of internal audit for The Shaw Group. Clouatre is from New Orleans and a graduate of the University of New Orleans.… Continue reading →

Business Honors for Sept. 14, 2014

Timothy McCall Sr., Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division/International Brotherhood of Teamsters

The Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance Inc. announced the winners of its seventh annual Craft Workforce Development Excellence Awards, recognizing contractors who invest in workforce development programs that include recruitment, assessment, training, career path development and retention of employees. The GBRIA Craft Workforce Development Most Valuable Plant award was presented to BASF Corp. and The… Continue reading →

Eastman Chemical buying Taminco

Eastman Chemical Co. will acquire specialty chemical maker Taminco Corp., whose plants include a St. Gabriel manufacturing facility, in a deal valued at $2.8 billion. The St. Gabriel plant makes dimethylaminopropylamine or DMAPA, “a chemical cornerstone” used in making fabric softeners, detergents, disinfectants, shampoo and liquid soap. Taminco officials did not respond to requests for… Continue reading →

Initial unemployment claims fall in Louisiana

First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending Sept. 6 decreased to 1,961 from the previous week’s total of 2,237. The state labor department said claims for the comparable week a year earlier were 2,190 claims. The four-week moving average, which is a less volatile measure of claims, decreased to 2,202 from… Continue reading →

Agency helps consumers get $2 million in insurance disputes

Consumers who filed complaints against their insurance companies recovered an additional $2.25 million in payments during the first half of 2014, with help from the Louisiana Department of Insurance. Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon said these payments are above and beyond the original amounts insurers offered to the consumers. The payments are the result of Insurance Department staff… Continue reading →

U.S. rig count up 6; Lousiana down 2

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by six this week to 1,931. The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,592 rigs were exploring for oil and 338 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were… Continue reading →

Citizens Property insurance rates rising for most commercial customers

Premiums for almost all of Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp.’s commercial customers will increase an average of 2.3 percent beginning in February, under a proposed rate filing. But the 307 customers whose properties lie below the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway will see rates drop by 17.5 percent, said Citizens Chief Financial Officer Steve Cottrell. The average policyholder… Continue reading →

Albemarle deal with Rockwood gets past antitrust review period

The federally mandated antitrust review waiting period for Albemarle Corp.’s $6.2 billion acquisition of Rockwood Holdings Inc. has passed. “This is another important step as we continue to make progress towards completion of the transaction with Rockwood to create a premier specialty chemicals company,” said Albemarle President and Chief Executive Office Luke Kissam.… Continue reading →

CSRS, Tillage to fully manage EBR school construction

Baton Rouge firms CSRS and Tillage Construction have acquired Georgia-based Garrard Group’s half of the CSRS/Garrard Program Management partnership, which oversees construction management for the East Baton Rouge Parish School System. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The CSRS-Tillage partnership, a 75-25 arrangement, will manage roughly $200 million in school construction projects, including… Continue reading →

Baker discount store sold for $1.8 million

The Fred’s Super Dollar Store property in Baker has been sold to a local investor for $1.8 million. Sidco Real Estate LLC, headed by Sidney Coxe Jr. of Baton Rouge, bought the store in a deal that was filed Tuesday with the East Baton Rouge Clerk of Court’s Office. The seller was Kimble Development of Baton… Continue reading →