WAGGAMAN, LA — Today, Governor Bobby Jindal, together with Incitec Pivot Limited Chairman Paul Brasher and Cornerstone Chemical CEO Greg Zoglio, broke ground on a $1.025 billion project that combines construction of Dyno Nobel’s $850 million ammonia plant with Cornerstone Chemical’s $175 million investment in upgrades and infrastructure expansion at Cornerstone’s Fortier Manufacturing Complex. Incitec Pivot, based in Australia, is the parent company of Dyno Nobel, which is building a plant with an annual ammonia capacity of 800,000 metric tons at Cornerstone Chemical’s Fortier Manufacturing Complex on the west bank of the Mississippi River in Jefferson Parish.
Dyno Nobel plans to begin ammonia production in mid-to-late 2016, with Cornerstone Chemical Company completing six years of maintenance and infrastructure work that will help support the ammonia plant. The project will create 65 new direct jobs, with 60 new personnel at Cornerstone Chemical and another five employed by Dyno Nobel. LED estimates the project will result in another 477 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 540 new jobs. Salaries for the new direct jobs will average more than $55,700 per year, plus benefits, and the project will retain 441 existing Cornerstone jobs. In addition, Dyno Nobel estimates construction employment will peak at 750 jobs over the three-year construction period.
Gov. Jindal said, “Today’s groundbreaking launches an important manufacturing project for Louisiana’s economy that will continue helping us compete in the global marketplace. These companies collaborated here because they recognize the great value and reward of investing in Louisiana and our extraordinary workforce and infrastructure. Like Incitec Pivot, Dyno Nobel and Cornerstone Chemical, companies across the world are choosing to invest here because we are working to make Louisiana the best place in the world to invest and create jobs.”
Dyno Nobel will develop the ammonia plant to support its U.S. industrial explosives business as well as external customers. Cornerstone currently produces acrylonitrile, melamine and sulfuric acid at the Fortier complex, where the ammonia plant will be integrated with Cornerstone’s existing plant infrastructure.
“This site at Cornerstone Chemical met our needs for a number of reasons: a competitive gas price, a responsive government regulatory process, a brownfield site and a professional business environment which combined, makes for a compelling investment in Louisiana,” said Incitec Pivot Limited Chairman Paul Brasher. “This plant will be the benchmark, the standard to which others hold themselves. Waggaman will be the place where other companies come to learn how to operate one of the safest and most-efficient ammonia production plants in the world.”
Dyno Nobel will begin hiring plant management for the ammonia facility in 2014, and additional hiring of Cornerstone Chemical personnel will take place as the commissioning of the plant approaches in 2016.
“This groundbreaking symbolizes the potential brought by the new energy economy in the U.S. Gulf and Louisiana, and along with the Cornerstone team I am excited to welcome Incitec Pivot as a key partner at our site,” said Cornerstone Chemical Company CEO Greg Zoglio. “This project will be the first new ammonia plant built in the state in over 25 years and is a shining example of the changes in Louisiana made possible by the advent of shale gas and a growth-oriented state government. This project will be one of many that will upgrade natural gas and natural gas liquids to value-added chemicals primarily for consumption within the U.S. as we leverage our natural resource advantage to lead the world out of the global recession.”
“Watching Dyno Nobel break ground in beautiful Jefferson Parish is a dream come true for this community,” Parish President John Young said. “So many people have played a role in bringing this project to fruition, collaborating on local, regional and state levels to attract this global industry leader to Jefferson. This groundbreaking further confirms that the West Bank is well-positioned to accommodate this type of investment, and it demonstrates Jefferson’s ability to attract, grow and create new jobs. We look forward to a longtime relationship with Dyno Nobel.”
LED’s Business and Expansion Retention Group, or BERG, began discussing the project with Incitec Pivot Limited and Cornerstone Chemical Company in April 2011 and worked closely on the project with JEDCO, the Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission, and Greater New Orleans Inc., or GNO Inc. To secure the project, the state offered an incentives package that will include the Industrial Tax Exemption and Quality Jobs programs for Dyno Nobel. Cornerstone Chemical will receive a Modernization Tax Credit of $3 million to be claimed over five years, along with the services of LED FastStart®, the nation’s top-ranked state workforce training program. Cornerstone Chemical also is expected to utilize the Industrial Tax Exemption and Quality Jobs programs.
“After an extensive and competitive international site selection process to bring Dyno Nobel to Jefferson Parish, we are truly thrilled to watch this project become a reality,” said JEDCO Executive Director Jerry Bologna. “Dyno Nobel’s investment in Jefferson represents the largest project this organization has ever had the pleasure to work on. This new facility will provide a tremendous boost to the economic development of Jefferson Parish, and it truly highlights the diversity of our industries in this community. JEDCO will continue to provide support to the Dyno Nobel team as they begin to build a new addition to our community.”
“Dyno Nobel’s major investment in Waggaman validates the unique business opportunity in Greater New Orleans,” said President and CEO Michael Hecht of Greater New Orleans Inc. “Companies from around the globe are choosing locations like Jefferson because of our unbeatable combination of affordable natural gas, friendly business conditions and high quality of life.”