By the BF Staff
From the January/February 2021 Issue
Gov. John Bel Edwards and Shintech Louisiana LLC announced earlier this year that the company will invest $1.3 billion to expand its manufacturing and packaging facilities in Iberville and West Baton Rouge parishes.
Shintech is the world’s leading manufacturer of polyvinyl chloride resins, or PVC. The company will make a $1.25 billion investment to increase PVC manufacturing capacity and expand chlor-alkali and vinyl chloride monomer capacity at its manufacturing facility in Plaquemine, which was announced in 2018 and is expected to be completed this year. The company also is expanding its PVC packaging and warehouse operation in Addis.
In Plaquemine, Shintech’s manufacturing expansion will create 30 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of $86,000, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development (LED) estimates the project will result in 129 new indirect jobs, for a total of 159 new jobs for Iberville Parish and the Capital Region.
Shintech will retain 530 existing jobs at the Iberville and West Baton Rouge facilities where the company has operated since 1999. The company expects the expansion project to create up to 2,400 constructions jobs. Construction is expected to be completed toward the end of 2023.
“Louisiana’s competitive business environment remains supportive of our major manufacturing sectors,” Gov. Edwards said. “Our skilled workforce and world-class infrastructure continue to set the stage for significant manufacturing expansions. As Shintech reaffirms its confidence in Louisiana’s economic strengths, we welcome the company’s latest investment in Iberville and West Baton Rouge parishes.”
The company is expanding its facilities to keep pace with the demand for PVC, a versatile, durable product used in a variety of applications in the building and construction industries as well as health care, electronics, automobile and other sectors. Shintech is a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan-based Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd.
“Shintech continues to invest in and increase its manufacturing presence in the North American market,” Vice President of Manufacturing Danny Cedotal said. “We appreciate the company’s confidence in our local manufacturing team. The jobs and infrastructure the company has built in Plaquemine and Addis continue to create much-needed economic development in our communities. We are grateful for the support of neighbors and our community, and we work every day to continue our commitment to live locally, hire locally and buy locally as the company’s footprint grows.”
LED began discussions with Shintech about the potential expansions in 2020. To secure the project, the State of Louisiana offered a competitive incentive package that includes the comprehensive solutions of LED FastStart®—the nation’s No. 1 state workforce development program for the past 11 years. The state has offered Shintech a performance-based grant of up to $6.6 million for the construction, procurement and installation of infrastructure to support the expansion project. The grant is payable in four installments, contingent upon the company reaching investment and production benchmarks. The company also is expected to utilize Louisiana’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
LED AIMS FOR RURAL GROWTH
Twelve Louisiana companies are the inaugural participants in a program targeting business growth for rural Louisiana. The LED Rural Entrepreneurship Initiative launched this week via a partnership of Louisiana Economic Development and the Michigan-based Edward Lowe Foundation.
“Rural communities and businesses are critical to Louisiana’s economic recovery and resiliency in 2021 and beyond,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “While working diligently to assist and develop our rural communities and to attract new projects to rural Louisiana, LED also is innovating and investing in support of our rural businesses. We are investing and acting through our strong partnership with the Edward Lowe Foundation, a national best-in-class leader in entrepreneurial development. Our rural revitalization efforts will continue to lead to rural wins, and our LED programs will continue to create a rural renaissance in Louisiana moving forward.”
The participating firms, located in all eight regions of the state, are considered second-stage businesses. Second-stage firms typically have 10 to 99 employees and are poised for further growth, often spurred by selling products and services in out-of-state markets and bringing new dollars back to their communities. Common issues for these businesses include building a management team, sustaining growth and focusing on new opportunities, all of which can be challenging to accomplish in rural areas.
The program began with retreat-style meetings in a virtual setting. Using instruction and collaboration, the program seeks to understand specific challenges to growth and to identify solutions for scaling business growth. Each company will have the opportunity to participate in additional activities, including one-on-one strategic research engagements, with access to expert specialists who generate customized information aligned with company needs.
Businesses participating in the inaugural LED Rural Entrepreneurship Initiative include 3D Media, Thibodaux (augmented reality and virtual reality training); BaumTech, Arabi (ATM solutions provider); Carmichael’s Honey, New Iberia (honey producer); Computer Sales and Services, Houma (managed IT services); Ingalls Information Security, Woodworth (cybersecurity); McGee Equipment Rental & Sales, Eunice (equipment rental); Ouachita Biomass, Lillie (wood products.); Panola Pepper Corp., Lake Providence (food manufacturing); Pelican Defense Technologies, Ruston (nanotechnology and computer systems design); Quality Engineering & Surveying, Port Vincent (civil engineering and land surveying); Streamline Industries, Jeanerette (specialized machining and equipment maintenance); Superior Woodwork and Trim, DeRidder (custom commercial cabinet and countertop manufacturing).
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