LaPLACE, La. (May 2) — DuPont Performance Elastomers L.L.C. has broken ground on a $50 million expansion of its neoprene capacity at its Pontchartrain Works in LaPlace, according to the company.
While there was no immediate word as to exact capacity increases at the Pontchartrain plant, the expansion is designed to allow production of a broader range of neoprene there, according to a company spokeswoman.
"This is another step in the consolidation phase," she said, who added that DuPont Performance Elastomers still plans to close its Louisville neoprene plant in March 2007, as scheduled. She didn´t say when the expansion would come online, but a newspaper report said production should begin sometime in the middle of 2007.
The United Steelworkers union, meanwhile, is still fighting to keep the Louisville plant open.
"I think there´s always hope until they shut the plant down," said James Briggs, a USW International staff representative. "The Louisville facility is the most versatile neoprene plant in the United States."