Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and Plant Manager Paul Heurtevant of Formosa Plastics Corporation, Louisiana (FPC) announced the company will invest $332 million to expand its production of polyvinyl chloride resin, or PVC. Formosa Plastics also will add production equipment in two other units of the company’s Baton Rouge manufacturing facility, which FPC has operated since 1981.
The project will create 15 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of $77,667, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 66 new indirect jobs, for a total of 81 new jobs in East Baton Rouge Parish and the Capital Region. Formosa Plastics also will retain 230 existing jobs. The expansion work is expected to create 500 construction jobs beginning in early 2020.
“Formosa Plastics has operated in Louisiana for decades, and we are happy to see its continued success result in this significant capital investment in Baton Rouge,” Gov. Edwards said. “As the company looks to a substantial increase in production and sales of PVC, Louisiana’s skilled workforce is at the ready. Permanent manufacturing jobs are particularly beneficial for our economy, and this major expansion also will support hundreds of jobs in our construction sector.”
The Formosa Plastics Baton Rouge facility consists of three operating units to produce PVC, a synthetic plastic polymer with a variety of uses in the construction industry, including as insulation on electrical wires, in flooring for buildings needing a sterile environment, and as piping and siding.
“Louisiana is one of only a few areas uniquely qualified with the resources and infrastructure to support our industry, allowing us to diversify our production across our locations, further adding to the reliability of supply for our customers,” Heurtevant said. “This expansion of our existing PVC unit will not only result in an additional nearly 300 million pounds of annual resin production and sales, providing our customers with the quality and consistency they have come to expect from Formosa Plastics, but will also provide for additional permanent jobs and several hundred construction jobs for our community.”
The project will include the installation of new machinery and equipment for the expansion of the PVC resin production unit, expected to result in a 20 percent increase in production capacity and sales; installation of new machinery and equipment for a halogenated acid production unit for internal use in the production of vinyl chloride monomer; and installation of utilities equipment needed for the new production operations. Launch of the new operations is expected for late 2021 or early 2022.
“When businesses in Baton Rouge are expanding, we all win,” said East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome. “This project will bring 15 new well-paying jobs to North Baton Rouge, and represents the retention of 230 existing jobs. I celebrate this news with the leadership of Formosa Plastics, and look forward to supporting their continued growth.”
LED began discussing potential expansion plans with FPC in March 2019, and the company considered a Texas location before committing to Louisiana. To secure the project, LED offered Formosa Plastics a competitive incentive package that includes a performance-based grant of up to $500,000. The company also is expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
“The Capital Region’s manufacturing renaissance continues with Formosa’s expansion announcement today,” said Adam Knapp, president and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. “This project brings both new jobs and new capital investment to expand Formosa’s capacity to produce PVC, a product they export around the world from right here in Baton Rouge. Foreign direct investment like this is a critical component of the region’s economic progress.”