CONVENT, La.—Wanhua Chemical Group Inc. has picked Convent for its $1.25 billion methylene diphenyl disocyanate (MDI) plant.
The Chinese chemical company said in 2017 that it would build an MDI plant in the state, and on Nov. 16 said the town on the east bank of the Mississippi River in St. James Parish would produce MDI used in polyurethane auto parts as well as foams and elastomers used in appliances, electronics, furniture, textiles and shoes.
"Louisiana, and specifically St. James Parish, provides Wanhua with everything we were looking for," Wanhua CEO Weiqi Hua said in a news release from the Louisiana Economic Development office.
The plant is expected to create 170 direct jobs with an average salary of $80,000. Construction will begin in 2019, with up to 1,000 jobs created during peak building periods, economic development officials said.
The 250-acre site has both deep-draft river access and available rail service.
The state offered publicly traded Wanhua an incentive package including $4.3 million in a performance-based grand to offset infrastructure costs and the company also is expected to use other job and tax exemption programs available in the state.
Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson and officials from Wanhua Chemical Group Co. Ltd. sign an agreement in 2017 laying the groundwork for Wanhua's new plant in Convent, La.