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Wanhua building chemical making complex in Louisiana

02
Dec '18
Courtesy: Wanhua Chemical Group
Courtesy: Wanhua Chemical Group
Wanhua Chemical Group is building a $1.25 billion chemical manufacturing complex in Louisiana. The project will create some 1,230 new permanent jobs in the state - 170 new direct jobs in addition to 1,060 new indirect jobs. The complex will produce MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate), commonly used for polyurethane automotive parts, foams and elastomers.

This has applications in appliances, electronics, spray-foam insulation, furniture, textiles and footwear. The complex will be developed in the St James Parish community of Convent, Louisiana.

Wanhua plans to start construction in 2019, with the project generating 1,000 construction jobs at peak activity. The company anticipates construction will be substantially complete by the end of 2021.

“Our LED team, joining other state agencies and regional and local partners, has worked diligently with Wanhua to attract this next-generation MDI project,” governor John Bel Edwards said. “Louisiana offers world-class manufacturing sites, the most productive manufacturing workforce in the US, and LED FastStart, the nation’s top state workforce training programme. Our infrastructure assets enable us to compete for the leading economic development projects in the world. We welcome Wanhua to Louisiana and look forward to the company’s contribution to our workforce and economy.”

In April 2017, Edwards and Wanhua chairman and CEO Zengtai Liao announced Wanhua’s decision to build the project in Louisiana. The choice of the St James Parish site followed additional front-end engineering and development and final site selection activities.

“Louisiana, and specifically St James Parish, provides Wanhua with everything we were looking for,” said CEO Weiqi Hua of Wanhua Chemical US Operations. Hua also serves as executive vice president and chief technology officer of parent firm Wanhua Chemical Group. “More than anything, successful operations are about people, and we know that Louisiana’s workforce is among the most productive in the world. Wanhua looks forward to being part of the Louisiana business community and the local community. Our desire to be a good industry neighbour will be evident in our focus on workforce development, local hiring, and our commitment to safe and environmentally responsible operations. Our employees will be fully engaged in the local community and we will communicate regularly and openly.”

In early 2017, LED secretary Don Pierson led a Louisiana contingent to Wanhua Chemical’s global headquarters in China, where he, Liao and other officials completed plans to move the project forward. The company’s investment will add to a Louisiana chemical industry that generates $80 billion in annual sales, supports more than 267,000 direct and indirect jobs, and benefits from an extensive infrastructure of ports, pipelines, rail and interstate highways.

“Our great integration with existing petrochemical producers and pipelines, and our outstanding universities all play a part in positioning Louisiana as a next-generation leader in the chemical industry,” Pierson said. “Louisiana has leveraged our strengths to capture billions in new investment. We continue to work hard every day to create a business climate and quality of life that are second to none.”

To secure Wanhua’s investment, the State of Louisiana offered the company a competitive incentive package that includes the comprehensive workforce solutions of LED FastStart, the Number 1 state workforce training programme for the past nine years in a row. The state also offered the company a performance-based grant of $4.3 million to offset site infrastructure costs, and Wanhua is expected to use Louisiana’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programmes. (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India


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