Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and Origin Materials, a carbon-negative materials company committed to the global transition to sustainable materials, announced that the company plans an investment of at least $750 million to develop a biomass manufacturing facility in Ascension Parish that will result in 1,057 new direct and indirect jobs.
The plant in Geismar will utilize sustainable wood residue—sourced partly from Louisiana’s timber mills and managed forests—to produce plant-based polyethylene terephthalate (PET) used in packaging, textiles, apparel and other applications. Hydrothermal carbon, which can be used in fuel pellets, also will be produced at the site.
Made with renewable feedstocks, Origin’s patented technology platform is designed to reduce the carbon emitted during the production of widely used products ranging from food and beverage containers to parts for the automotive industry.
The project will create 200 direct jobs with an average annual salary of more than $90,000 plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates an additional 857 indirect jobs will result in Louisiana’s Capital Region. The company estimates 500 construction jobs will result at the peak of development for the new facility.
The plant will be located on an LED Certified Site—the 150 acre Parks Geismar site in Ascension Parish—signifying that it has been deemed development-ready after an extensive review. The company expects construction to begin in mid-2023 and for the plant to be mechanically completed and operational by mid-2025.
“The demand for ‘net zero’ enabling materials is extremely strong, and we believe this plant will be instrumental in addressing demand for our products in the United States and internationally,” Origin Materials Co-Founder and Co-CEO John Bissell says. “We are grateful for the partnership of Louisiana Economic Development, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber and Ascension Parish for the support they have provided in the site selection process.”
The site sits along the Mississippi River with easy access to barge and rail and plentiful local wood residue feedstock. The proposed incentive package for building in the area is compelling and the local industrial cluster can provide access to hydrogen, ethylene, water treatment and more.”
Headquartered in West Sacramento, Calif., Origin Materials was founded in 2008. The company has partnered with leading consumer brands including Danone, Nestlé Waters and PepsiCo in its creation of recyclable, plant-based PET plastic consumer products, as well as Ford Motor Co. and global chemical companies. This largest-of-its-kind Geismar-based facility will join the company’s network of locations, including its West Sacramento-based pilot facility and its Ontario, Canada-based production site, which is currently under construction.
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