OxyChem planning $145 million Geismar plant expansion, adding 12 jobs paying $80,000 annual salaries _lowres


Occidental Chemical Corp. announced a $145 million expansion of the company’s manufacturing plant in Geismar to make refrigerants.

OxyChem said Monday its expansion will create 12 new jobs with an average salary of $80,000 a year, plus benefits. The plant employs 400 OxyChem employees and contractors.

The project includes equipment for producing a new raw material to be used in the making next generation of climate-friendly refrigerants.

Louisiana’s economic development department estimates the project will result in another 37 new indirect jobs in Ascension Parish and surrounding areas.

Construction work for the expansion will begin in May with completion anticipated in late 2017. The company estimates the expansion also will create 250 construction jobs at peak building activity.

OxyChem is expected to utilize Louisiana’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption incentive programs.

In Louisiana, OxyChem manufactures and distributes chlorine, caustic soda, hydrogen, chlorinated organics, ethylene dichloride and potassium hydroxide. In addition to Geismar, OxyChem has facilities in Convent, Luling and Hahnville, where it also generates surplus electricity. OxyChem’s operations in Louisiana account for approximately 1,000 jobs, including employees and contractors.

“OxyChem is proud to be celebrating its 50th year as a part of the Louisiana business community, and this project further demonstrates our commitment to growing our opportunities in the state,” President Rob Peterson said.

“With many decades of operation here, OxyChem is unfolding a new chapter of success in Louisiana while retaining existing jobs and adding great new career opportunities,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards.