BASF, the global leader in chemical manufacturing, operates four facilities in Louisiana, employs nearly 2,000 people, and invests nearly $300 million in the state through annual payroll, purchases, taxes and charitable contributions. The company’s plant in Geismar, located between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, is the largest BASF facility in North America.
The plant’s strategic growth has been aided over the years by its location on the Mississippi River and by Louisiana’s industrial infrastructure. Another weapon in the BASF growth arsenal is Louisiana’s Industrial Tax Exemption Program (ITEP), which offers an attractive local tax incentive for manufacturers across the state. Built into the constitution, ITEP permits local taxing authorities to waive property taxes for up to 10 years on a manufacturer’s new capital investment and annual capitalized additions related to the manufacturing site.
“When it comes to new capital outlays, I’m competing for money with other BASF sites in Texas, Michigan and along the East Coast,” said Tom Yura, BASF’s senior vice president and general manager of the Geismar site. “As we go through a site selection process, ITEP is one of the levers I use as a site manager to pull in new investments.”
Since 2009, BASF’s use of ITEP helped secure funding for four new projects representing more than $350 million in investments and approximately 100 permanent jobs. Projects include BASF’s first North American methylamines plant that came online in 2013, a surfactants plant and a formic acid plant starting up in 2015, and a polyurethane systems house where raw materials will be blended to deliver customized products to clients in the transportation, furniture and construction industries. BASF’s expansion continues to fuel additional support service jobs in and around the local Geismar community.
“I appreciate LED’s efforts to not simply focus on bringing new business to the state, but also in helping grow the businesses that are here,” Yura said. “ITEP has an influence and impact on our investments and future expansion. My job is to continue helping grow BASF in Geismar, and the state and [Louisiana Economic Development] have done a nice job of keeping me competitive in the fight for capital investments. This program adds a lot of value.”