BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Wanhua Chemical, based in China, plans to develop a $1.12 billion manufacturing complex in Louisiana, the Louisiana Department of Economic Development (LED) announced Monday.
The company, which will produce methylene diphenyl diisocyanate, or MDI, has not yet publicly announced exactly where it will build, LED said. MDI is commonly used for polyurethane foams and elastomers for things like appliances, electronics, furniture, textiles and footwear.
State leaders say Wanhua also considered building in Texas and other states before ultimately deciding on Louisiana. An exact location for the project is expected to be announced "in the coming months", the LED said.
The project will create 170 new direct jobs with an average salary of $70,440, plus benefits, the state said. In addition, construction and other components of the project are expected to create 945 new indirect jobs.
"Today's announcement of Wanhua Chemical's decision to select Louisiana is a testament to the strength of Louisiana's business climate and unmatched transportation logistics," Governor John Bel Edwards said. "Our highly skilled workforce, our natural resources and our world-class infrastructure allow companies like Wanhua to make significant investments in our state and create great new jobs while strengthening their competitive edge. We welcome their investment to Louisiana and congratulate them on their new chapter here."
Last month, LED Secretary Don Pierson led a Louisiana contingent to Wanhua Chemical's global headquarters in Yantai, China, where he, Chairman and CEO Zengtai Liao, and other officials completed final plans to move the project forward, LED said in a news release.
"Louisiana takes pride in attracting yet another major foreign direct investment project to our state," Pierson said. "Wanhua Chemical carefully executed its long-term MDI strategy and selected Louisiana as the best place in the world for its investment in this fast-growing category of chemicals. Not only is Louisiana home to an existing $68 billion chemical manufacturing sector that supports more than 135,000 jobs, we are attracting next-generation investments that assure our leadership in the 21st century."