Occidental Chemical Corp., also known as OxyChem, will invest $145 million in an expansion of the company’s manufacturing plant in Geismar, LA. The project includes equipment for producing a new raw material to be used in making next-generation, climate-friendly refrigerants.
OxyChem will create 12 new jobs with an average salary of $80,000 a year, plus benefits, in addition to retaining 400 OxyChem employees and contractors who now work at the Geismar plant. Louisiana Economic Development (LED) estimates the project will result in another 37 new indirect jobs for a total of 49 new jobs in Ascension Parish and surrounding areas.
Based on patented research and development by OxyChem, the new product would enable the efficient production of next-generation refrigerants, which have low global-warming potential and ozone depletion potential.
“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,” said Occidental Chemical Corp. President Rob Peterson. “OxyChem intends to utilize its leading-edge technology to produce world-scale quantities of next-generation raw materials to meet the growing demand for climate-friendly refrigerants.”
In Louisiana, Dallas-based OxyChem manufactures and distributes chlorine, caustic soda (sodium hydroxide), 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.
“We’re proud to see great employers like Occidental Chemical continue to make new investments in Louisiana,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “This expansion testifies to the productivity of our highly skilled, Louisiana-grown talent, and we commend OxyChem for their dedication to our state. 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.”
Construction work for the expansion will begin in May 2016 with completion anticipated in late 2017. The company estimates the Geismar 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.
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