Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and Lacassine Operating Company CEO Van Eversull announced the company will invest $12.5 million to construct a catalyst blending plant in Lacassine, Louisiana. Designed to serve oil refineries throughout the world, the catalyst plant will become the anchor tenant of the Lacassine Rail Terminal operated by Rail Logix in Jefferson Davis Parish.
With the new project, Lacassine Operating will create 40 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of $45,760, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project also will result in 123 new indirect jobs, for a total of 163 new jobs for Jefferson Davis Parish and the Southwest Region of Louisiana. Lacassine Operating is a newly formed partner company of Equilibrium Catalyst Inc.
“Equilibrium Catalyst has served Louisiana oil refineries for many years, and we welcome the arrival of its affiliated company here with this catalyst blending plant,” Gov. Edwards said. “Its location at the Lacassine Rail Terminal is a good example of how Louisiana’s logistics assets can work for business. With industrial clients in Louisiana, Texas and across the world, the company is well-positioned to grow and thrive here.”
Founded in 1992 in New Orleans and based in Houston, Equilibrium Catalyst is the world’s leading provider of catalyst-related services in the fluid catalytic cracking, or FCC, category. Company facilities blend and process material for use by both domestic and international oil refineries. Major regional clients of the new Lacassine Operating facility will include ExxonMobil in Baton Rouge, Citgo in Lake Charles, Phillips 66 in Westlake, and the Motiva and Total Port Arthur refineries in Port Arthur, Texas.
“Equilibrium Catalyst is growing along with the Louisiana energy economy, and we are happy to launch our Lacassine Operating Co. at this excellent new facility,” Eversull said. “Louisiana is a great place for industries such as ours to do business. With the unique logistical advantages that we’re getting via Rail Logix here, we’re looking forward to a successful operation serving our clients near and far.”
The Lacassine Rail Terminal is situated along Interstate 10 at the midpoint between New Orleans and Houston. Rail Logix began operating the terminal in October 2018. It has installed 500 railcar storage spots to date, with plans to expand to more than 2,300 railcar storage spots. The rail facilities serve an industrial park of 400 acres available for lease or purchase.
“As one of the newest companies to the park, Lacassine Operating Co. represents the beginning of a multitude of rail-served tenants to invest in the park and support this region’s industrial growth,” Rail Logix Chief Operating Officer Randy Bennett said.
To secure the project, LED offered Lacassine Operating a competitive incentive package that includes the comprehensive workforce solutions of LED FastStart®, the top-rated state workforce training program in the U.S. The company also is expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
“Providing quality jobs for our citizens allows us to keep our young people from moving away and assures a future for our communities and parish,” Jefferson Davis Parish Police Jury President Donald Woods said.
“The Lacassine Industrial Park is the catalyst attracting businesses to Jeff Davis Parish,” said President and CEO Marion “Butch” Fox of the parish Economic Development and Tourist Commission. “Rail Logix provided the rail infrastructure and management and the Lacassine Operating Co. catalyst facility is taking advantage of these assets. Jeff Davis Parish will reap the benefit with quality jobs and millions of dollars of investment by both companies.”
“The SWLA Economic Development Alliance is pleased that Equilibrium Catalyst will locate at the Lacassine Industrial Park,” said President and CEO George Swift of the SWLA Economic Development Alliance. “Marion Fox has worked tirelessly to make this happen and we congratulate her on this successful project. Jeff Davis has much potential and as part of the Southwest Region, we are always interested in creating good jobs in this area of the state. There is much potential at Lacassine.”
“Combining a strategic infrastructure with a highly skilled workforce, Lacassine is an ideal location for Equilibrium Catalyst to invest,” said President and CEO Troy Wayman of One Acadiana. “This announcement demonstrates that Jeff Davis Parish and South Louisiana is a perfect place for business to thrive. We congratulate Marion Fox for her work to build the Rail Logix industrial park into the world-class logistics hub it is today. It is truly an asset to the region and state and businesses are taking notice.”
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