Lockheed Martin will make a $3 million capital investment at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility to manufacture cryogenic tanks for liquefied natural gas in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The LNG tanks, which initially will be used for ship propulsion, are part of Lockheed Martin’s increased emphasis on converting defense technology to commercial applications. The project will create 166 new direct jobs, with Louisiana Economic Development estimating the project will result in another 236 new indirect jobs.
Known for aerospace defense and military security systems, Lockheed Martin will initially produce cryogenic tanks to fuel the propulsion systems for oceangoing vessels. Long-term plans call for the company to manufacture tanks to meet the needs of shipping by land, rail and sea, as well as for land-based storage of LNG. At the Michoud facility in New Orleans, Lockheed Martin also will develop Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion heat exchangers, a maritime sustainable energy project.
Gov. Bobby Jindal said, “This announcement is great news for the New Orleans area and our entire state. For years, the Michoud Assembly Facility was thriving, supporting at one time more than 5,000 quality jobs for our people in the space engineering industry. It was one of the largest production facilities in the country and was instrumental in the production of fuel tanks used during NASA’s Space Shuttle Program, as well as prior space programs. But after the federal government stopped the Space Shuttle Program, and the Obama administration ended the Constellation space program, production drastically declined here at this facility, resulting in the loss of about 2,000 jobs since 2010.”
“We know that the Michoud facility is a vital part of this community and our state, and that’s why we set out to bring new jobs here,” the Governor added. “Lockheed Martin’s investment in Louisiana is proof of that commitment, and demonstrates the confidence they have in our world-class infrastructure, strong business climate and incomparable workforce. We look forward to continuing our work with Lockheed as they pursue even more manufacturing opportunities like these in the future.”
“Our entry into the LNG tank market is a prime example of how Lockheed Martin is leveraging capabilities and technologies developed for government and defense programs to meet the needs of private sector customers who drive the nation’s economy,” Lockheed Martin IS & GS-Defense President Gerry Fasano said.
LED said to secure the project, the state will provide the company with Louisiana’s Competitive Projects Payroll Incentive, which will entail a payroll rebate of up to 12 percent for eligible jobs in the advanced manufacturing industry, one of the state’s targeted growth sectors. Lockheed Martin will receive the services of LED FastStart and utilize the state’s Industrial Tax Exemption Program.
The first phase of the project is expected to begin with the installation of equipment in December 2013. In the future, Lockheed Martin will pursue additional advanced manufacturing projects at the Michoud facility, where it has long assembled major components of NASA’s space systems.