BASF has donated $25,000 to River Parishes Community College to create a Process Equipment Trainer Plant Maintenance Fund and to provide women and underrepresented minorities with scholarships, a news release said.

After many years and collaboration with BASF and other companies in the community, RPCC’s PET plant is under construction with plans for start-up in summer 2022. The PET Plant will be a fully functioning production unit. Maintenance will play a critical role in the long-term sustainability of the plant, and the hands-on learning opportunities in the field of maintenance will help RPCC students develop skills for their future careers in the industry.

“This world-class plant will offer students and industry partners a real-world experience as a fully functional unit,” RPCC Interim Chancellor Dr. Jim Carlson said. “More importantly, RPCC students and industry partners will be able to train in work-based learning experiences that they will see in a plant environment.”

BASF is a longtime supporter of RPCC. In 2014, BASF donated $100,000 to RPCC to build its Technical Training Center in Gonzales, along with decommissioned equipment that served as a foundation for building the PET Plant and years of consulting (in-kind) support to bring the project to fruition. BASF also donates annually to support the TECH Academy program hosted at RPCC and scholarships for students who are pursuing technical degrees or certifications for careers in industry.

“BASF is proud to partner with RPCC and the other companies who have contributed to the PET Plant, which has truly been a community build,” Senior Vice President and General Manager of BASF’s Geismar site Jerry Lebold said. “With the many manufacturing career opportunities available in our region, hands-on training is vital to developing our current and future workforce, and the PET Plant will offer a safe, real-world experience of plant operations and maintenance.”