GEISMAR, La. (AP) -- German chemical manufacturer BASF will spend $42.6 million to build a new polyurethane blending facility at its Geismar operation in Ascension Parish. The company says the new facility will create 22 jobs.
Company officials said on Thursday construction is expected to start in June. The facility is expected to open in the second quarter of 2015, creating greater efficiency and shortening BASF's supply chain to customers.
The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1aFwNT5 ) the expansion is the fourth announced at the BASF complex on La. Highway 30 since 2009, boosting the company's capital investments in Louisiana to more than $350 million over the past four years and bringing the number of expected direct and indirect jobs to more than 600.
The company completed a methylamine plant in 2011 and will open a surfactant plant and a formic acid plant in 2014.
The permanent direct jobs from the new plant will have an average annual salary of more than $72,300 a year, plus benefits.
The work also will create an estimated 160 to 175 construction jobs, state and company officials said.
The general manager of BASF's Geismar site, Senior Vice President Tom Yura, credited "an absolutely incredible one-two punch" of the business climate set by Louisiana's leadership and continuing low natural gas prices for the latest expansion.
"The price of natural gas, and you've heard this a couple of times, is really facilitating an economic renaissance for manufacturing in the United States," he said during a news conference inside a BASF DNT facility warehouse.