Katoen Natie USA will invest $150 million to build a 2 million square-foot plastics storage, custom packaging and distribution facility for producers of petrochemical products in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, creating 210 new jobs.
The 127-acre logistics complex, including polymer terminals, warehousing and distribution facilities, will support local petrochemical and specialty chemical producers in the Capital Region. The Katoen Natie facility will offer a variety of processing, handling, storage and value-added services to these producers, and will distribute to both domestic and international customers.
"We are excited about the new project that will expand our U.S. and global network," Frank Vingerhoets, Katoen Natie's president of petrochemicals in North America said. "This state-of-the-art facility will help absorb the increasing production capacity of our customers, which is in relation to the shale gas growth in the U.S. The cooperation with the local authorities has been great, and their efforts have contributed to our decision to invest in the Baton Rouge area." The firm has is based in Belgium with US headquarters in Houston, Texas.
Katoen Natie's plans include developing tie-ins to rail assets served by Kansas City Southern Railway and Canadian National Railroad, potentially becoming one of the few facilities of its kind with dual railway access. The first phase of the project is expected to begin in this year, and will include construction of the first 600,000 square feet of storage space, all of the rail lines servicing the facility, half of the available rail yard, all rail tie-ins, and the construction of a 6-acre detention pond. The company expects to complete the first phase by the end of 2013, with hiring for the new facility beginning this summer. Katoen Natie expects to complete the entire facility by 2018.
Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will also result in 516 new indirect jobs. Another 150 construction jobs will be created during the building phase. Gov. Bobby Jindal said; "Katoen Natie's decision to build in Louisiana is part of the renaissance that our chemical and energy industries are experiencing today. The company said key factors in their decision to invest in Louisiana included easy access to railroads, as well as our experienced chemical industry workforce. Indeed, today Louisiana is a leader in petrochemical and specialty chemical products because of our strong business climate, infrastructure, natural resources and incomparable workforce.”
The company is expected to utilize Louisiana's Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption incentives, as well as the services of LED FastStart, the state’s workforce development program.