LED Secretary Don Pierson joined President and CEO Rajeev Gautam of Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies, along with other state and local officials, to mark the completion of Honeywell’s $300 million manufacturing facility for automotive refrigerants in Geismar. The new facility produces Honeywell’s fast-growing Solstice® HFO-1234yf refrigerant that’s currently adopted in 20 million vehicles and expected to reach 40 million vehicles by year’s-end.
The Geismar plant represents one of many recent investments by Honeywell at its four Louisiana sites. At an advanced materials site and an adsorbents plant, both in Baton Rouge; at a catalysts plant in Shreveport; and at the Geismar Performance Materials and Technologies complex, Honeywell has completed $915 million in new capital investment projects and created 118 new direct jobs in the past four years, bringing statewide employment to 816 direct jobs, not including contractors.
Honeywell and Louisiana Economic Development announced the projects in 2013. The combined investments have created 3,311 construction jobs in Louisiana since then, including 1,363 construction jobs connected to the new Geismar plant. The 55 new direct jobs at the Geismar mobile refrigerants plant will average more than $86,000 per year, plus benefits. LED also estimates new Honeywell jobs statewide are resulting in an additional 357 new indirect jobs, for a total of 475 new jobs in Louisiana.
“Whether we are restoring Louisiana’s coastline or producing next-generation products for more efficient vehicles, innovation is key to our way of life in Louisiana,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “It’s important that we continually look for ways to improve our economic performance. By working with companies like Honeywell to engineer innovation in our manufacturing processes, we are securing existing jobs and building a blueprint for better, more sustainable jobs in the future.”
In Geismar, Honeywell converted intellectual property developed in the company’s research labs to an easily adopted marketplace solution for the automotive sector. The mobile refrigerants produced at the Louisiana site, as they’re adopted by original equipment manufacturers and aftermarket automotive companies, can reduce the greenhouse gas impact of standard refrigerants now used in most vehicles by more than 99 percent.
“Honeywell has continued to invest in our manufacturing facilities in Louisiana,” Gautam said. “The support of the State of Louisiana, as well as local governments, was key in our decision to invest in the production of key new Solstice products at our Louisiana facilities. This has resulted in a central hub in Louisiana to manufacture our full portfolio of Solstice products. Honeywell has invested nearly $1 billion in R&D and manufacturing capacity to bring next-generation air conditioning, refrigeration, aerosol and foam insulation products to consumers around the world.”
Since 1987, the U.S. and more than 190 other nations have signed the Montreal Protocol, a treaty targeting protection of the stratospheric ozone layer by phasing out the production and consumption of substances that deplete the ozone layer. In addition to climate change, depletion of the ozone layer is linked to harmful ultraviolet radiation associated with a higher incidence of cancer, cataracts and other health problems.
“This new Honeywell plant means jobs and income for Louisianans, but the products it will manufacture will deliver environmental benefits around the world,” said Dr. Chuck Carr Brown, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality secretary. “This is an example of an industry being proactive, thinking ahead and meeting an environmental need before it becomes critical.”
“I am very pleased and proud that Honeywell continues to call Ascension Parish home,” said Ascension Parish President Kenny Matassa. “They have been an excellent corporate citizen and neighbor, and now they are adding even more local jobs while making an environmentally friendly product. With this expansion, Honeywell continues to be the definition of success.”
In recent years, Honeywell has completed modernization projects in Baton Rouge for enhanced aerosols, insulation-blowing agents, and appliance and stationary refrigerants; in Baton Rouge for higher-performing adsorbents that remove contaminants from the refining process; and in Shreveport for catalysts that improve performance in the oil refining industry. Those projects are in addition to the mobile refrigerants plant dedicated in Geismar.
“AEDC is thrilled Honeywell has chosen to expand their operations and employment base in Ascension Parish,” said President and CEO Kate MacArthur of the Ascension Economic Development Corp. “We appreciate not only the investment in our community, but the investment this innovative product makes in our global environment.”
“This project has been a multiyear collaboration between the State of Louisiana, the Capital Region and Honeywell, and we are thrilled to celebrate its completion,” said President and CEO Adam Knapp of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. “Honeywell is producing highly competitive, environmentally friendly products and we are proud to have them as a partner in job creation and economic development of our region.”
Honeywell is a Fortune 100 software-industrial company that delivers industry-specific solutions that include aerospace and automotive products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes, and industry; and performance materials globally. Honeywell’s technologies help everything from aircraft, cars, homes and buildings to manufacturing plants, supply chains and workers become more connected to make the world smarter, safer and more sustainable. For more information, visit www.honeywell.com/newsroom.