BATON ROUGE, La. – Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards highlighted the dedication of $2 billion in new chemical manufacturing investments by The Dow Chemical Company in Louisiana. Secretary Don Pierson of Louisiana Economic Development joined Dow President and Chief Operating Officer Jim Fitterling, Dow Louisiana Operations Site Leader Eduardo Do Val and other federal, state, parish and local officials for a ribbon-cutting event at Dow’s 3,300-acre Plaquemine site.
Dow’s expansion in Iberville and West Baton Rouge parishes, announced in August 2013, includes construction of two new polyolefin plants designed to produce next-generation synthetic rubber and high-performance polyethylene, along with 1 million square feet of warehousing. The investment also includes boosting Dow’s ethylene capacity; a new command center for the company’s hydrocarbons operations; and the restart of an existing ethylene unit in St. Charles Parish.
“In providing great livelihoods for thousands of Louisiana families, Dow’s operations pump more than $1 billion into the state’s economy each year through payrolls, taxes, business purchases and community contributions,” Gov. Edwards said. “That’s vital to our economy, and it’s just as vital that Louisiana industrial leaders remain competitive in the global economy. These new investments by Dow are modernizing Louisiana manufacturing sites to be the most competitive, efficient and productive operations in the world, all of which ensures a bright future for our workforce and our economy.”
Launched in 1956 with the purchase of four large tracts in Iberville and West Baton Rouge parishes, Dow’s operations in Louisiana now provide jobs for more than 6,000 Dow and contract employees who produce over 100 basic and specialty chemicals shipped worldwide from six Louisiana locations.
“The investments we’re celebrating today will be a tremendous part of Dow’s future, and integral to our strategy by expanding our family of high-performance polymers for flexible packaging that our customers are demanding,” said Jim Fitterling, president and chief operating officer for Dow, and chief operating officer of the Materials Science Division for DowDuPont. “We’re thankful for the support we’ve received from the community as well as from our local, state and national representatives. Without their support, as well as the hard work of our employees and partners working diligently every day to safely meet our construction timeline, this investment would not have been possible.”
Dow’s operations in Louisiana produce the building blocks for plastics, soaps, detergents, cosmetics, shampoos, pharmaceuticals and other goods. Company officials tied the Louisiana expansion to historical growth in natural gas production from shale gas reserves, with major increases in U.S. natural gas supplies over the past 15 years.
“Dow’s Louisiana Operations continue to be a leader in economic development in the state of Louisiana and the Capital Region,” said Iberville Parish Chamber Executive Director Hank Grace. “The Iberville Chamber of Commerce is proud to partner with Louisiana Operations in bringing not only new capital investment to the area, but quality jobs for our people.”
In addition to securing more than 2,500 direct Dow and contractor jobs at the Plaquemine-area operations, the $2 billion in capital investment projects created over 1,200 construction jobs during the past four years.
“Success for Dow is success for the Capital Region, and we are proud to partner with them,” said President and CEO Adam Knapp of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. “This expansion is a great example of an investment that keeps our major manufacturers, like Dow, competitive in the marketplace.”