Baton Rouge, La. (December 8, 2020) – Today, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) joined Gov. John Bel Edwards in announcing Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. is studying the feasibility of building a methyl methacrylate manufacturing complex in Geismar. A final investment decision by MCC on the greenfield project is expected by mid-2022.
The proposed project, with an anticipated capital investment exceeding $1 billion, would create 125 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of $100,000, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project would result in another 669 new indirect jobs, for a total of nearly 800 new jobs in the Capital Region and surrounding areas.
“Geismar is one of the most advanced chemical manufacturing communities in the world,” Gov. Edwards said. “As we continue to enhance our world-class infrastructure in Louisiana, we are attracting world-scale production facilities like the one proposed by Mitsubishi Chemical. We look forward to working with MCC to attract this permanent investment and the accompanying quality jobs to our state.”
Methyl methacrylate, or MMA, is a vital building block for acrylic-based polymers. MMA may be found in paints, adhesives, glazes, lighting displays, building panels, bath fixtures, flat-screen monitors, clear acrylic barriers in retail and manufacturing environments for virus protection, and several other products for which it contributes strength, durability, transparency and resistance to scratches and abrasions.
“The Geismar project would be the third and largest commercial application of MCC’s proprietary Alpha technology, which was first deployed in 2008,” said Hitoshi Sasaki, who is chief operating officer for MCC’s global methyl methacrylate business. “This technology and plant design are perfectly matched for the shale gas-based feedstock slate in the United States, and strengthens our global leadership in the MMA merchant market. We look forward to partnering with the State of Louisiana and the people of Ascension Parish.”
Since 2000, LED and its partners have attracted Japanese foreign direct investment totaling over $8 billion in economic development projects and more than 5,300 new jobs for Louisiana residents.
“In Ascension Parish, we are proud of our global business community and the local workforce they employ, as they are vital to the sustainability of our economy and provide an elevated quality of life for our residents,” said Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment. “Mitsubishi Chemical would make a tremendous addition to further grow our economic base.”
BRAC and LED began discussions with the company about a potential MMA plant in 2016. To secure the project, the State of Louisiana offered MCC a competitive incentive package that includes the comprehensive workforce solutions of the nation’s No. 1 state workforce program, LED FastStart®, and a $4 million performance-based grant to offset infrastructure costs, payable in two equal installments in 2024 and 2025 as capital expenditures are certified. In addition, MCC is expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
“As the world’s largest producer of MMA and a leader in technology, Mitsubishi Chemical will be right at home in Ascension Parish,” said President and CEO Kate MacArthur of the Ascension Economic Development Corporation. “By connecting our strategic location with our world-class workforce, we look forward to helping make the final location decision an easy one.”
MCC would develop the world’s largest and most modern MMA complex, with an estimated production capacity of 350,000 tons per year. The company would build on a 67-acre greenfield site it has acquired from synthetic rubber manufacturer Lion Elastomers. With a final investment decision, MCC would begin construction activities leading to initial operations as soon as 2025.
“The Capital Region, and particularly Ascension Parish, continue to be a magnet for petrochemical investment,” said President and CEO Adam Knapp of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. “The economic impact of a more than $1 billion direct capital investment and the creation of 125 jobs cannot be overstated. This project would have a multiplier impact on our region and would be the largest MMA plant in the world. BRAC and our partners in Ascension Parish look forward to supporting Mitsubishi Chemical and welcoming their team to the Baton Rouge area.”
Based in Tokyo, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC) consists of more than 300 subsidiary companies employing over 40,000 people and recording annual revenue in excess of $22 billion. Founded in 1933, MCC creates innovative solutions worldwide that strive for KAITEKI, its original concept that denotes: “The sustainable well-being of people, society and our planet Earth.” For more information, visit m-chemical.co.jp/en.
About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber
The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) leads economic development in the nine-parish Baton Rouge Area, working to grow jobs and wealth and to improve the business climate and competitiveness in the region. Today, BRAC investors include more than 1,400 small businesses, midsize firms, large industry and entrepreneurial startups, as well as individuals and organizations that support business and economic development. In this capacity, BRAC serves as the voice of the business community, providing knowledge, access, services and advocacy. More information is available at brac.org.