GEISMAR, LA (WAFB) - A facility in south Louisiana plans to expand to nearly double its production of a chemical that is used in the materials for construction, insulation, automotive, and packaging goods.
Gov. John Bel Edwards and Tom Yura, the senior vice president of BASF, announced Wednesday that the company will invest in expanding its production of methylene diphenyl diisocyanate, or MDI, at its chemical plant in Geismar.
Officials said it will create 15 new direct jobs, while Louisiana Economic Development estimates an additional 70 new indirect jobs will result from the investment.
"Louisiana excels in chemical manufacturing because of our outstanding infrastructure, a great business climate and a manufacturing workforce that leads the U.S. in productivity," Gov. John Bel Edwards said. "We're proud that BASF is choosing to reinvest in its Geismar complex, which is one of the biggest economic drivers in Louisiana and one of the leading sources of highly skilled manufacturing jobs. Ascension Parish and the Capital Region of Louisiana will be major beneficiaries of this important modernization project."
The complex currently produces 300,000 metric tons of the chemical. It would like to increase that to almost 600,000 metric tons. MDI is used to produce polyurethane foams.
In the first phase of a multi-phase expansion that is expected to take several years, BASF said it will invest more than $150 million in the construction of an MDI synthesis unit. Construction is scheduled to start in the spring.