Origin Materials will invest at least $750 million to develop a biomass manufacturing facility in Ascension Parish, LA. The project will create 200 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of more than $90,000, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development (LED) estimates the project will result in an additional 857 indirect jobs in the state’s Capital Region.
“The demand for ‘net zero’-enabling materials is extremely strong, and we believe this plant will be instrumental in addressing demand for our products in the United States and internationally,” said Origin Materials Co-Founder and Co-CEO John Bissell. “We are grateful for the partnership of Louisiana Economic Development, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber and Ascension Parish for the support they have provided in the site selection process. The local talent is world-class across refining, forestry and agronomy, feedstock logistics and chemicals. The site sits along the Mississippi River with easy access to barge and rail and plentiful local wood residue feedstock. The proposed incentive package for building in the area is compelling and the local industrial cluster can provide access to hydrogen, ethylene, water treatment and more.”
The new plant in Geismar will use sustainable wood residue – sourced partly from Louisiana’s timber mills and managed forests – to produce plant-based polyethylene terephthalate (PET) used in packaging, textiles, apparel and other applications. Hydrothermal carbon, which can be used in fuel pellets, also will be produced at the site. Made with renewable feedstocks, California-based Origin Materials’ patented technology platform is designed to reduce the carbon emitted during the production of widely used products ranging from food and beverage containers to parts for the automotive industry.
The plant will be located on an LED Certified Site – the 150-acre Parks Geismar site in Ascension Parish. Origin Materials expects construction to begin in mid-2023 and for the plant to be mechanically completed and operational by mid-2025.
“I welcome Origin Materials’ plans for a new facility in Louisiana,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “Their unique process of developing PET products from renewable wood fibers is yet another example of how the global shift toward sustainability can be a catalyst for economic investment and job creation in our state. The company’s carbon-negative mission aligns with our Climate Action Plan’s approach to limiting the severity of climate change while maintaining economic competitiveness in a low-carbon future.”
Origin Materials has partnered with leading consumer brands including Danone, Nestlé Waters and PepsiCo in its creation of recyclable, plant-based PET plastic consumer products, as well as Ford Motor Company and global chemical companies. This largest-of-its-kind Geismar-based facility will join the company’s network of locations, including its West Sacramento-based pilot facility and its Ontario, Canada-based production site, which is currently under construction.
“As Ascension Parish transitions toward a greener future, we look forward to welcoming Origin Materials to our business community,” said Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment. “This project is significant in an emerging bio-based chemical market as well as an investment in our local labor force.”
To secure the project, Louisiana offered Origin Materials an incentive package that includes the LED FastStart workforce development program. Additionally, the company will be eligible for a $6 million performance-based award to be paid out over six years, to reimburse site infrastructure costs. The company is also expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
“This project points to a future of transformational changes in the manufacturing of chemicals and plastics,” said Baton Rouge Area Chamber President and CEO Adam Knapp. “Origin Materials’ decision to locate its largest plant-based plastics operation here speaks to our region’s continued advantages for workforce and supply chain, even as technologies change for the future. AEDC and LED have been excellent partners in their work to support the company’s decision to locate in the Capital Region.”
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