Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies has completed its $300 million manufacturing facility for automotive refrigerants in Geismar, LA. The new facility, which created 55 new jobs, produces Honeywell’s fast-growing Solstice® HFO-1234yf refrigerant that’s currently adopted in 20 million vehicles and expected to reach 40 million vehicles by year’s-end.
“Honeywell has continued to invest in our manufacturing facilities in Louisiana,” said Honeywell CEO Rajeev Gautam. “The support of the State of Louisiana, as well as local governments, was key in our decision to invest in the production of key new Solstice products at our Louisiana facilities. This has resulted in a central hub in Louisiana to manufacture our full portfolio of Solstice products. Honeywell has invested nearly $1 billion in R&D and manufacturing capacity to bring next-generation air conditioning, refrigeration, aerosol and foam insulation products to consumers around the world.”
The Geismar plant represents one of many recent investments by Honeywell at its four Louisiana sites. At an advanced materials site and an adsorbents plant, both in Baton Rouge; at a catalysts plant in Shreveport; and at the Geismar Performance Materials and Technologies complex, Honeywell has completed $915 million in new capital investment projects and created 118 new direct jobs in the past four years, bringing the company’s statewide employment to 816 direct jobs, not including contractors. Honeywell and Louisiana Economic Development (LED) announced the projects in 2013.
“Whether we are restoring Louisiana’s coastline or producing next-generation products for more efficient vehicles, innovation is key to our way of life in Louisiana,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “It’s important that we continually look for ways to improve our economic performance. By working with companies like Honeywell to engineer innovation in our manufacturing processes, we are securing existing jobs and building a blueprint for better, more sustainable jobs in the future.”
In Geismar, Honeywell converted intellectual property developed in the company’s research labs to an easily adopted marketplace solution for the automotive sector. The mobile refrigerants produced at the Louisiana site, as they’re adopted by original equipment manufacturers and aftermarket automotive companies, can reduce the greenhouse gas impact of standard refrigerants now used in most vehicles by more than 99 percent.
Since 1987, the U.S. and more than 190 other nations have signed the Montreal Protocol, a treaty targeting protection of the stratospheric ozone layer by phasing out the production and consumption of substances that deplete the ozone layer. In addition to climate change, depletion of the ozone layer is linked to harmful ultraviolet radiation associated with a higher incidence of cancer, cataracts and other health problems.
“This new Honeywell plant means jobs and income for Louisianans, but the products it will manufacture will deliver environmental benefits around the world,” said Dr. Chuck Carr Brown, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality secretary. “This is an example of an industry being proactive, thinking ahead and meeting an environmental need before it becomes critical.”
In recent years, Honeywell has completed modernization projects in Baton Rouge for enhanced aerosols, insulation-blowing agents, and appliance and stationary refrigerants; in Baton Rouge for higher-performing adsorbents that remove contaminants from the refining process; and in Shreveport for catalysts that improve performance in the oil refining industry. Those projects are in addition to the mobile refrigerants plant dedicated in Geismar.
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