Eastman Chemical Company plans to invest $70 million to expand and modernize its St. Gabriel manufacturing facility over the next three years, including the construction of a new chemical intermediates production facility.
The expansion project, announced by Gov. John Bel Edwards this afternoon, will retain 106 existing jobs and create five direct jobs with an average annual salary of $60,000 at the Eastman facility. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will also result in 24 indirect jobs, according to a press release.
Eastman produces amines, or ammonia-derived compounds, used in feed, food, personal care and agriculture markets. Along with a new unit and laboratory, the expansion project will include upgrades to the plant’s control and reliability capabilities.
“We’ve been a part of this community for over 40 years and for us, this is home,” says Eastman Site Manager Tim Harris in a statement. “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.”
LED began discussions with Eastman on a potential expansion last May, facing competition from other locations for the investment, such as sites in Florida, Texas and Belgium. The state offered an incentive package for the project, including $250,000 in Modernization Tax Credit, according to the governor. Eastman is also expected to pursue Louisiana’s Enterprise Zone and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.