Gov. Edwards, Economic Development Officials Meet International Business Leaders in London
Officials talk bioenergy investments and insurance
With the goal of increasing foreign investment in Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards led a delegation of business and state leaders on an economic development mission to London in September, meeting with high-ranking executives of major energy and manufacturing companies as well as Lloyd’s of London, the world’s leading insurance underwriter.
The delegation included representatives from LED, the Department of Transportation and Development, the Louisiana Offshore Terminal Authority, the Port of New Orleans, the Port of South Louisiana, and the Committee of 100 for Economic Development.
The governor and delegates met with executives of companies managing major energy transition investments in Louisiana, including Shell, Cheniere Energy, Linde and Drax. The discussions covered a wide range of issues affecting the increasingly diversified energy sector, from the Russia-Ukraine war’s impact on European demand for Louisiana natural gas, to the establishment of offshore wind, hydrogen, biomass and renewable fuels industry clusters around the state. Highlights of these meetings included:
- Detailing the critical role Louisiana-produced LNG plays in the global energy market – including Cheniere’s Sabine Pass Liquefaction facility, which is adding a third marine berth commissioning to load the world’s largest LNG vessels for export.
- Visiting Shell Centre, the energy company’s global headquarters in downtown London, for a briefing on the company’s expanding portfolio of clean energy investments and updates on Shell’s Louisiana investments.
- Meeting with Linde, an industrial gases production and engineering company that merged with Praxair in 2018. Linde has positioned itself as a leader in the clean hydrogen industry.
- Exploring the potential for expanding the wood pellet production facilities in Louisiana that help Drax support renewable power generation for UK homes and businesses, as well as customers in Europe and Asia.
“Building on over 100 years in Louisiana, Shell is investing in its Norco, Geismar and Convent facilities to deliver the low carbon fuels and sustainable chemicals our customers demand. I was honored to host Governor Edwards and a delegation of state and Committee of 100 representatives in London to update our progress, including plans to repurpose Shell’s Convent site as a renewable fuels facility.”
- Huibert Vigeveno, Downstream Director - Shell
Insurance coverage is a critical issue for many in Louisiana, with some Louisiana homeowners and businesses finding insurance harder to buy and too expensive. The governor’s discussions with Lloyd’s representatives addressed the role of a strong reinsurance market to help individual insurance companies navigate catastrophic risk. The meeting also focused on Louisiana’s relationship with the insurance industry and how the state can keep major insurers engaged in the practice of protecting Louisiana’s business and residential investments.
Lloyd’s representatives shared their perspectives on long-term insurance and reinsurance trends for Louisiana. They identified economic, political, legislative and regulatory factors that underwriters consider when evaluating where to do business. They also addressed how the risk modeling employed by Lloyd’s insurance marketplace affects Louisiana.