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Indian Drugmaker Expands Louisiana Plant

Generic drugmaker Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Inc. of India says the $16.5 million project to expand its production plant in Shreveport will create 73 new jobs.

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) -- Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Inc., a generic drug manufacturer based in India, said Monday that it will spend $16.5 million to expand its Shreveport production plant and create 73 new jobs.

The governor's office said Dr. Reddy's settled on Shreveport following a competitive inducement process involving domestic and foreign sites. The state is providing a $2.1 million grant to offset capital expenditures and Dr. Reddy's will receive a waiver of all city permit fees and a 2.75 percent rebate of local sales taxes the company pays.

The company currently has 161 jobs in Shreveport. State officials said the new jobs will average $37,000 annually, plus benefits. Projections call for $7.3 million in new state tax revenue and $5 million in local tax revenue over 10 years.

Dr. Reddy's said that the Shreveport plant is currently the largest producer of silver sulfadiazine cream, a topical burn remedy, and the second-largest producer of ibuprofen for the North American market. The expansion will enable the company to expand its product lines in Shreveport, officials said.

Gov. Bobby Jindal, who made the expansion announcement, said northwestern Louisiana had a growing health care, biotech and pharmaceutical industry that could create additional jobs.

"We're aggressively pursuing additional economic development projects in these and other high-growth areas, which will enable us to keep more highly educated workers here in Louisiana and transfer research from out universities into jobs for our people," Jindal said.

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