BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)– An Energy start-up is looking to invest $7.5 billion dollars, on the west side of Ascension Parish.

They are known for their clean energy production. However, there are some pros and cons weighing in on this project.

“We’ve been looking for a project just like this,” said Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment.

Clean Hydrogen Works is proposing the multi-billion dollar project in Donaldsonville.

“What you’re looking at is this new clean energy that we hear about worldwide, the blue hydrogen slash ammonia product,” said Cointment.

He explained that the company will produce a cleaner type of fuel for companies in the marine industry on a global basis.

He added, “When you have a project of this magnitude on the West Bank, you’re talking about 2,000 construction jobs. You’re talking about 350 new permanent jobs.”

One aspect of the project involves a reduction in air pollution.

“They’re going to inject carbon underground,” said Louisiana Environmental Action Network Technical Director Wilma Subra. “The carbon sequestration is to remove greenhouse gas chemicals from the environment and make it a safer environment over the long term. And that’s potentially the aspect they’re selling the most.”

She said although it might do some good, there are risks, including chemicals released into the air and water.

Subra said, “Even if they put on the best controlled technologies for the emissions there still could be toxic emissions coming out of these facilities that will negatively impact human health.”

Cointment said this practice is not new. It’s been done all over the country for years now.

“I think they partner with the right people to ensure the safety of that carbon capture,” he said.

Subra added that her group often works with communities for a more comprehensive understanding of such projects.

“The battle usually is associated with jobs versus the environment,” she explained. “And yes, they are very good jobs that come out of each one of these facilities, but the community that already lives there is the one that could be exposed.”

Company leaders say they hope to make a final investment decision and begin construction in 2024. According to this timeline, production will begin in 2027.