NOLA.com / The Times Picayune
Gov. Bobby Jindal and Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies President and CEO Darius Adamczyk announced Monday the completion of a $33 million modernization project at Honeywell’s chemical and refrigerant gases manufacturing facility in Baton Rouge.
The project extended the life of Honeywell’s existing facility, retaining 200 existing jobs, and created 11 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of $64,000, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project resulted in an additional 52 new indirect jobs, for a total of 63 new jobs in the Capital Region and surrounding areas.
The plant expansion included the construction of a new production line to produce an innovative, environmentally preferable product for use in energy-efficient insulation and in aerosol and refrigerant applications.
“Honeywell helps support hundreds of jobs in our state, and we’re proud the company is expanding in Baton Rouge with a brand new product line. This project is a good example of how Louisiana’s outstanding business climate is convincing companies like Honeywell to reinvest in our state, retain great existing jobs, and create additional new career opportunities for our people,” Jindal said in a statement.
The expansion project enables a supply of new products that are sold under Honeywell’s Solstice brand name and used to replace more environmentally impactful hydrofluorocarbons. The company’s investment in environmentally preferable refrigerants, propellants, blowing agents and solvents has kept its Baton Rouge site viable as market and regulatory changes call for newer, greener products. The company chose Baton Rouge for the modernization project over competitive sites in Asia and Europe.
“Honeywell’s Baton Rouge site is now serving customers around the world with our innovative and environmentally preferable Solstice blowing agents, propellants and solvents,” Adamczyk said. “Honeywell’s Baton Rouge site has a long history of manufacturing products that improve energy efficiency and comfort for consumers, and our investments in the site will ensure that Baton Rouge continues to play this important role for years to come.”
LED’s Business Expansion and Retention Group, or BERG, began working with Honeywell officials in 2010 to identify opportunities to retain and expand the company’s presence in Baton Rouge, and plans for the expansion project were launched in 2011. To secure the expansion project, the State of Louisiana offered Honeywell a $1.25 million Modernization Tax Credit, to be claimed over five years, on capital upgrades to existing facilities. Honeywell also is utilizing Louisiana’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
The project is in addition to separate Honeywell projects announced last year for company sites in Caddo, Ascension and East Baton Rouge parishes. Gov. Jindal and Honeywell announced in July 2013 that Honeywell would invest $208 million in other new manufacturing projects at Shreveport, Geismar and two plants in Baton Rouge, with the potential for $1.2 billion in total new capital investment by the company in the state over the next 10 years.
“The completion of Honeywell’s expansion project is a milestone for Baton Rouge,” Mayor-President Melvin “Kip” Holden said. “The competition for this project was strong but the city came together to not only keep Honeywell here, but allow them to expand into a new high-demand product line. We congratulate Honeywell on completing this project and look forward to celebrating their continued success.”
“Honeywell has made a significant investment in the Capital Region which retained valuable jobs while also creating new jobs,” said Adam Knapp, president and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. “We congratulate this innovative company on the completion of their expansion, allowing them to deliver a product in high demand throughout the United States due to its use in energy-efficient products. Honeywell’s commitment to the region will strengthen the Baton Rouge area’s growing economy for years to come.”