BASF announced a final investment decision on a $780 million project to double production capacity at its chemical manufacturing complex in Ascension Parish, Louisiana. The move marks the launch of the third and final phase of an expansion plan announced in 2018.
Counting all three expansion phases and other site investments, BASF will retain more than 1,000 existing jobs and add 37 new direct jobs with average annual salaries from $86,600 to $105,600 per year, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development (LED) estimates that the total project plan will result in 147 new indirect jobs, for a total of 184 new jobs in the region.
Upon completion, BASF’s Geismar Verbund site will be able to produce 600,000 metric tons per year of methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI). MDI is an important component for polyurethanes, a versatile, lightweight plastics material used for insulation and a variety of other industrial and consumer products.
According to the company, the seven-year expansion project, representing more than $1 billion in combined capital investment, will allow it to meet growing North American demand for its products in construction, appliance, transportation, automotive and other sectors.
Construction will begin this year and is expected to be complete by mid-2025.
To secure the final phase of the BASF expansion project, Louisiana offered an incentive package that includes a $1 million Retention and Modernization Tax Credit, to be claimed in equal installments over five years. BASF also is expected to tap Louisiana’s Industrial Tax Exemption and Quality Jobs programs.
The first phase of the expansion project involving the construction of a new MDI synthesis unit was put in operation in October of 2020. The second phase, which started operations in 2021, expanded several existing upstream units. The third and final expansion phase includes several new upstream units and a splitter to increase to 600,000 metric tons.