Momentive Specialty Chemicals Inc. said Thursday that it will spend $66 million to construct a new chemical production facility in St. Charles Parish and upgrade its plant in Ascension Parish.
The plant expansions will increase Momentive’s production of formaldehyde for use by nearby chemical plants in the manufacture of other products. Formaldehyde is used as an additive and binding ingredient in the production of a variety of engineered wood products, such as oriented strand board, and in thousands of other chemicals and products, including herbicides and fungicides.
The plant announcements were made by Momentive Executive Vice President Dale Plante and Gov. Bobby Jindal.
The projects will retain 55 existing jobs at the Geismar plant, while creating 13 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of $82,300, plus benefits. Eight of the new jobs will be at the new plant in Luling and five in Geismar.
Louisiana’s economic development department estimates the project will result in an estimated 74 new indirect jobs. Plant construction at the two locations will support an estimated 300 construction jobs.
The Geismar plant expansion should come online in the fourth quarter of 2015. It will have a direct pipeline delivery system into the adjacent manufacturing sites of BASF Corp. and Huntsman Corp.
“We are delighted to learn of Momentive’s plans to increase their employment and investment at their Geismar site,” Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez said.
The Luling plant is expected to begin operations in the first quarter of 2016. It will serve an adjacent Monsanto Co. chemical plant by providing formaldehyde through a direct pipeline into the Monsanto complex.
“By utilizing space at an existing facility, this project will add economic opportunities, tax revenue and long-term viability for the Monsanto site without encroaching on surrounding residents and businesses,” St. Charles Parish President V.J. St. Pierre Jr. said.
When completed, the plants will have the capacity to produce more than 400,000 metric tons of formaldehyde per year.
Plante, who also is president of Momentive’s forest products division, said the additional capacity will help the company meet anticipated growth in the Gulf Coast region for several significant and longtime customers.
To secure the project, the state offered Momentive a Modernization Tax Credit of $350,000 to be claimed over five years. The company also is expected to use Louisiana’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs as it hires employees and places the capital projects into service.
“Momentive Specialty Chemicals’ expansion in Geismar and construction of a new facility in Luling exemplify the collective efforts of the Southeast Super Region, representing the Baton Rouge and New Orleans areas together,” Baton Rouge Area Chamber President and CEO Adam Knapp said.