VILLE PLATTE, La.—Cabot Corp. is spending $90 million to make improvements at a carbon black plant in Louisiana.
The project at the company's Ville Platte facility, which is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2021 and finish in 2022, will create 15 jobs to go along with the existing 90 workers.
Cabot makes carbon black in Ville Platte by converting byproduct steam from oil refineries into the granular form of carbon.
The new project will capture waste heat from an incineration process at the plant while also removing impurities to generate electricity to power operations.
Bart Kalkstein, Cabot senior vice president, said the project will allow his company to make "clean power without generating any additional emissions."
"In addition to the jobs this new energy center project will create, we're also looking forward to the tremendous sustainability benefits this project will enable, including reductions in sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and indirect greenhouse gas emissions," he said in a statement.
Production at Ville Platte, which means flat city in French, began 77 years ago to help support the country's World War II efforts. The location in central Louisiana originally was selected because of its proximity to natural gas reservoirs.
Louisiana Economic Department, a state agency, and Cabot started talking about the energy project about two years ago. Louisiana is giving the company an incentive package that includes a $1 million grant to help with infrastructure costs. Cabot also will receive a $500,000 modernization tax credit.
Cabot is expected to use a state jobs program and an industrial tax exemption program, according to the state.
Along with the 15 permanent jobs that will have an average salary of more than $73,000, the state said the project will create 380 jobs during the project's construction.
Carbon black made in Ville Platte is shipped by rail and truck to customers in North America. The material is used in tires as a pigment and to create lower rolling resistance. Carbon black conducts heat away from treads and belts to extend the life of tires. The strengthening agent also acts as a pigment.