Chemical manufacturing plant coming to St. James Parish, will result in 1,230 new jobs

Chemical manufacturing plant coming to St. James Parish, will result in 1,230 new jobs
Note: This is a stock photo.

CONVENT, LA (WAFB) - On Friday, November 16, Governor John Bel Edwards and Wanhua Chemical Group Co. Ltd. announced the company will be building a $1.25 billion chemical manufacturing complex in St. James Parish.

The 250-acre site will be located at the northwest corner of the intersection of Highways 3125 and 3214 on the east bank of the Mississippi River, and will have deep-draft river access and available rail service.

The project will bring 170 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of $80,000, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development (LED) says the project will also bring in an additional 1,060 indirect jobs, for a total of 1,230 new permanent jobs for the state.

The plant will produce MDI, or methylene diphenyl diisocyanate. MDI is typically used for polyurethane auto parts, foams and elastomers, and is used in appliances, electronics, spray foam, insulation, furniture, textiles, and shoes.

“Our LED team, joining other state agencies and regional and local partners, has worked diligently with Wanhua to attract this next-generation MDI project. Louisiana offers world-class manufacturing sites, the most productive manufacturing workforce in the U.S., and LED FastStart, the nation’s top state workforce training program. Our infrastructure assets enable us to compete for the leading economic development projects in the world. We welcome Wanhua to Louisiana and look forward to the company’s contribution to our workforce and economy,” said Edwards.

The decision to build the plant was announced in April of 2017. Wanhua plans to begin construction in 2019. The project is expected to bring in about 1,000 construction jobs at its peak. Construction is anticipated to be done by the end of 2021.

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