GEISMAR, LA (WAFB) - Geismar is now home to a new facility that is expected to be the world's largest producer of a product that keeps air conditioners running in automobiles.
Cars are the most widely used mode transportation on the road today, but the chemicals that keep them running and keep occupants cool are known to pollute the environment.
President of Honeywell Performance Materials and Technology, Rajeev Gautam, says scientists have come up with a new product that will replace the refrigerant used in your car's AC with one that reduces the impact of global warming and makes your car run better.
"Through their hard work, creativity, and dedication, we have identified and developed the product line that came to be known as the Solstice family," said Gautam.
Solstice will be manufactured at Honeywell's new automotive refrigerant production facility in Geismar. The plant has become the largest producer of it in the world.
Vice President of Honeywell Fluorine, Ken Gayer, says the demand for Solstice is growing quickly. "Half the cars manufactured in the U.S. today are using this product and that will convert to 100 percent by 2021," said Gayer.
The invention means hundreds of new permanent jobs. Ascension Parish President Kenny Matassa says the revenue from the new facility translates into a long list of improvements for residents and visitors.
"Roads, schools, the sheriff's office, the police department, the cities. It helps everybody to maintain the living like we have today," said Matassa.
The $300 million investment by Honeywell is set to keep fueling the economy. Honeywell leaders say nearly every car maker in the auto industry plans to use the refrigerant in at least one of their U.S. models.
Scientists say once the product goes global, its impact will be the equivalent of removing more than 30 million cars from the road.