The West Side Journal
Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Eastman will make a $70 million capital investment over the next three years to expand and modernize its manufacturing operations in St. Gabriel, Louisiana, including a new Chemical Intermediates production facility. While retaining 106 existing jobs, the project will create five new direct jobs with an average salary of $60,000, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project also will result in 24 new indirect jobs, for a total of 29 new jobs in Iberville Parish and the surrounding region.
The St. Gabriel site produces a wide range of amines, or ammonia-derived compounds, that are used in feed, food, personal care and agricultural markets. In addition to a new unit and laboratory, the company’s investment will result in upgrades to the plant’s control and reliability capabilities over the next three years.
“Eastman’s investment in its St. Gabriel facility affirms the company’s commitment to Louisiana and its people, especially our highly skilled, specialty chemicals workforce,” Gov. Edwards said. “Louisiana is known throughout the world for our high-performance industrial sector and our strong transportation infrastructure. We are proud that Eastman recognizes these strengths and is upgrading its facility to ensure its presence in our state for years to come.”
The St. Gabriel site is owned and operated by Taminco US LLC, a subsidiary of Eastman. Headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, Eastman acquired Taminco Corp. in December 2014. Taminco’s former Specialty Amines and Crop Protection businesses were incorporated into Eastman’s Additives and Functional Products operating segment, while the Taminco Functional Amines operations were incorporated into Eastman’s Chemical Intermediates segment.
“We’ve been a part of this community for over 40 years and for us, this is home,” said Eastman Site Manager Tim Harris, who oversees the St. Gabriel facilities. “We will be better-positioned to win with our customers through additional capacity, improvements in reliability, and new resources to innovate. Eastman has choices about where to invest, and this makes it easier to choose here. That’s a great testament to the plant and the region, and it would put us in a good position to compete for future projects within Eastman.”
In 2018, the St. Gabriel manufacturing site was named Manufacturer of the Year by the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.
“Eastman has proven to be a great community partner,” said St. Gabriel Mayor Lionel Johnson Jr. “This $70 million investment is an opportunity to upgrade equipment and operations, which is a positive thing for the company and the community. We look forward to a sustained community-partner relationship as this initiative moves forward.”
LED began discussions with Eastman on a potential facility expansion in May 2018. Louisiana faced competition from other locations for the new investment, including sites in Florida, Texas and Belgium. The state provided a competitive incentive package for the project, including a $250,000 Modernization Tax Credit. Additionally, the company is expected to utilize Louisiana’s Enterprise Zone and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
“When a company such as Eastman decides to expand its footprint here in Iberville Parish, that is exciting news,” said Iberville Parish President Mitchell Ourso. “The Iberville Parish Council congratulates Eastman on their announcement and says thank-you for making the investment in their future right here in Iberville Parish.”
“Our team has been happy to work in close collaboration with partners in Iberville Parish to assist Eastman with this expansion,” said President and CEO Adam Knapp of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. “This project is the first to pass through Iberville Parish under the new ITEP regulations, and we are grateful to stakeholders in Iberville for recognizing the incredible importance of supporting local industry.”