In A Flash

California company to build sustainable materials plant with 200 new jobs in Louisiana

By: - February 16, 2022 9:05 am

A California company plans to spend $750 million to build a facility in Ascension Parish that will manufacture plant-based material for packaging, textiles and other uses. The facility will hire 200 workers at an average salary of $99,100, according to Louisiana Economic Development.

An announcement Wednesday from Gov. John Bel Edwards describes Origin Materials as “a carbon-negative materials company.” The plant on a 150-acre site in Geismar will use wood residue, some of which will come from Louisiana timber mills and managed forests, to make polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and hydrothermal carbon, which is used to make fuel pellets.

Louisiana Economic Development estimates an additional 857 indirect jobs will be linked to the plant. Origin Materials projects development of the new facility, which it describes as “world scale” and the “largest of its kind,” will support 500 construction jobs.

“I welcome Origin Materials’ plans for a new facility in Louisiana,” Edwards said in a statement. “Their unique process of developing PET products from renewable wood fibers is yet another example of how the global shift toward sustainability can be a catalyst for economic investment and job creation in our state. The company’s carbon-negative mission aligns with our Climate Action Plan’s approach to limiting the severity of climate change while maintaining economic competitiveness in a low-carbon future.”

Origin Materials expects construction to begin in mid-2023 and for the plant to be in use two years later. Co-founder and co-CEO John Boss said demand for “‘net zero’-enabling materials is extremely strong,” and he believes the Geismar plant will be key to meeting demand for its products in the United States and internationally. The company’s pilot facility and headquarters are in West Sacramento, California. It also has a production facility under construction in Ontario, Canada.  

Origin Materials was founded in 2008 and is publicly traded on the Nasdaq exchange. The company’s clients include consumer brands such as Pepsi, Nestlé and Ford Motor Co. 

According to Louisiana Economic Development, the state’s incentive package for Origin Materials includes a $6 million performance-based award based on job creation to reimburse the company for site infrastructure costs. The money would be paid out over six years. The company is also expected to take part in the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.

A news release from Origin Materials says “pending state and local incentives are estimated to be worth more than $100 million.” The company also anticipates a “private activity bond volume cap allocation” from the state of at least $400 million to finance the project with private capital.

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Louisiana Illuminator
Louisiana Illuminator

The Louisiana Illuminator is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization driven by its mission to cast light on how decisions are made in Baton Rouge and how they affect the lives of everyday Louisianians, particularly those who are poor or otherwise marginalized.