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Japan-Based Denka Performance Elastomer Plans Corporate Headquarters In LaPlace, Louisiana

Denka Performance Elastomer plans to establish its new corporate headquarters at the company’s site in LaPlace, Louisiana. The company has acquired the Neoprene synthetic rubber business of DuPont Performance Polymers. The project will create 16 new corporate executive jobs.

The corporate headquarters announcement accompanies Denka’s just completed acquisition of DuPont’s polychloroprene synthetic rubber business, known by the trade name Neoprene. Material produced at the LaPlace site finds use in such consumer products as wet suits, orthopedic braces, adhesives, electrical insulation and coatings. New owner Denka Performance Elastomer is a joint venture of majority owner Denka Company Limited, with 70 percent of the equity, and Mitsui & Co. Ltd., both Japanese companies.

“Chloroprene rubber has been a core business for Denka Japan for many years, and I am sure this new addition in LaPlace will largely contribute to our further growth, enabling us to serve the market and the customers better,” CEO Koki Tabuchi said. “I am also very glad that it is located here, with a lot of support from the state, the parish and the people in town.”

Denka Performance Elastomer will retain 235 existing manufacturing jobs associated with the Pontchartrain Works production site in LaPlace, where DuPont will continue to operate its separately owned DuPont Kevlar business, according to Louisiana Economic Development.

Governor Bobby Jindal said, “With one of the nation’s best business climates, Louisiana offers corporations very attractive business operating costs and our state ranks No. 1 for the lowest tax burden applied to new and mature manufacturing projects and No. 4 for lowest tax burden on corporate headquarters. Also considering our outstanding workforce and quality of life, the decision to establish corporate headquarters in Louisiana becomes a sound investment for companies like Denka Performance Elastomer.”

To secure the project, state officials offered the company a competitive incentive package that includes the comprehensive workforce solutions of LED FastStart - ranked the No. 1 state workforce development program in the nation. In addition, the company is expected to utilize Louisiana’s Quality Jobs Program.

“The win is significant for St. John and greater New Orleans because it is not only another foreign direct investment win, but also represents retention of over 200 manufacturing jobs, and the addition of nearly 20 high-paying corporate headquarters positions,” said President/CEO Michael Hecht of Greater New Orleans Inc. “In this sense, it is a triple-win for economic development in Louisiana.”

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