BATON ROUGE, La. – Today, Gov. Bobby Jindal highlighted the selection of the Formosa Petrochemical Corp. project in St. James Parish as one of the nation’s top three deals in Business Facilities magazine’s 2015 Economic Development Deal of the Year competition. Formosa, a Taiwan-based company that has operated in Louisiana for more than three decades, announced in September 2015 that it was assessing the feasibility of developing a $9.4 billion industrial complex, which would include ethane crackers and downstream chemical manufacturing plants.
Pending a final investment decision by mid-2016, Formosa would develop the project in two phases on the west bank of the Mississippi River, near the Gramercy bridge. The project would create 1,200 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of $84,500, plus benefits, and result in an estimated 8,000 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 9,200 new jobs in Louisiana. The Formosa Petrochemical project would become one of the largest, single-site ethylene production complexes in the world. In January 2014, Gov. Jindal visited Taiwan to meet with company officials and build the foundation for the Louisiana investment.
Gov. Jindal said, “Throughout our administration, we focused on building a more competitive Louisiana so that we would be able to attract global investment and world-scale projects of the highest quality. We’re truly proud that Louisiana has indeed become recognized as the new frontier for business opportunity, that Formosa officials recognized our great progress in developing a better business climate and a more productive workforce, and that Business Facilities recognized all of these hallmarks in one of the top economic development deals in the U.S. What we’re most excited about is that beyond this great honor, the Formosa project represents an opportunity for thousands more Louisiana workers and their families to benefit from great new careers and a higher quality of life in the state they love.”
Business Facilities delivered 30 project nominations announced in 18 states during 2015 to an independent panel of judges that made the final selections for the 2015 Economic Development Deal of the Year competition. Judges selected a $417 million investment in a 4.1 million-square-foot Goodman Global Group manufacturing and corporate campus in Houston, with 4,600 new jobs, as the Gold Award winner. The Silver Award went to South Carolina’s $500 million Volvo assembly plant, with 4,000 new jobs, followed by Louisiana’s $9.4 billion Formosa Petrochemical plant as the Bronze Award winner.
The magazine named a record seven runners-up that merited Honorable Mention Awards: Utah (SolarCity expansion, $94 million, 4,000 jobs); Tennessee (Community Health Services expansion, $66 million, 1,500 new jobs); North Carolina (Novo Nordisk expansion, $1.2 billion, 691 new jobs); Alabama (Polaris manufacturing facility, $127 million, 1,700 new jobs); Georgia (Kaiser Permanente National Innovation Center, $20 million, 900 new jobs); Indiana (Subaru expansion, $400 million, 1,200 new jobs); and Texas (Amazon fulfillment center, $191 million, 1,000 new jobs).
The Formosa Petrochemical project rose to the top tier of the annual Business Facilities awards with a comprehensive foundation for attracting one of the world’s leading chemical manufacturing projects.
“Louisiana’s world-class infrastructure offers unmatched logistics options for large-scale petrochemical operations, providing a solid foundation for future growth," said Business Facilities Editor-in-Chief Jack Rogers said.
The Business Facilities Economic Development Deal of the Year awards are presented to projects that create a significant number of quality jobs, increase the tax base and otherwise stimulate the local economy. The Formosa project recognition marks the latest in a string of major economic development awards for Louisiana in the competition.
In 2013, the 800-job IBM technology center project in Baton Rouge earned an Honorable Mention Award from Business Facilities. In 2012, the magazine presented the state with a Silver Award for the Sasol project in Lake Charles, and in 2010, Louisiana received a Bronze Award for the Nucor project, also in St. James Parish.
Louisiana’s latest recognition accompanies a rapidly improving business climate in the state. Louisiana now ranks in the Top 10 of five national business climate rankings, including Area Development, Business Facilities, Chief Executive, DCI and Site Selection. Today, Louisiana ranks higher in every national business climate ranking than it ever did prior to 2008. Advances in workforce development, governmental ethics laws, the state tax structure and education have joined with targeted incentives to boost Louisiana’s success in attracting economic development expansion and corporate relocation projects. Since 2008, Louisiana has attracted economic development projects that are resulting in more than 91,000 new jobs in the state and more than $62 billion in new capital investment.
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