GRAMERCY, La. — Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards and Noranda Bauxite & Alumina CEO David D’Addario announced the company will invest $35 million to expand and upgrade its alumina refinery in St. James Parish. The company also plans to establish its company headquarters at the Gramercy complex.
The project will create 65 new direct jobs, including 15 corporate headquarters jobs, at an average annual salary of $90,000, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 185 new indirect jobs, for a total of 250 new jobs for St. James Parish, the Southeast Region and surrounding areas. In addition, the project will retain 395 existing jobs at the refinery. The plant, built by Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corp., has operated in St. James Parish since 1958. It is located on the east bank of the Mississippi River, less than a mile downriver from the Veterans Memorial Bridge.
“This is a great opportunity to create new good-paying jobs and to secure hundreds of existing jobs at an industrial mainstay in our River Parishes,” Gov. Edwards said. “Noranda’s new ownership team is committed to the success of its business, and we are pleased to provide strategic assistance to their efforts to modernize and expand their operation in Gramercy.”
The project will include the design and installation of equipment to increase the production, storage and shipping capabilities of chemical-grade alumina. Known as CGA, the product is used in many industrial applications, including water treatment, flame retardants, catalysts for oil, gas and petrochemical refining, building materials and insulation.
“These capital improvements represent the largest capital expenditure at Gramercy in more than a decade,” D’Addario said. “The projects will not only expand the production capacity for our valued CGA customers and create new jobs for our community, they will help ensure the continuation of this business and its 400-plus jobs by enabling us to operate more efficiently and effectively and with even greater environmental responsibility. We are grateful to Louisiana Economic Development and Gov. Edwards for the confidence they have shown in the success of our business as demonstrated by LED’s significant financial support.”
LED began working with Noranda in May 2015 on business retention efforts at the alumina manufacturing site. To secure the project, LED offered the company an incentive package that includes the comprehensive solutions of LED FastStart®, the top-ranked state workforce training program in the nation. LED also offered Noranda a performance-based, forgivable loan of $1 million under the state’s Economic Development Award Program for facility construction and equipment, and a Modernization Tax Credit of $200,000 a year for five years on capital investment for facility upgrades and equipment. The company is expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
“The Port of South Louisiana is excited about Noranda’s $35 million investment in St. James Parish within our port district, together with the retention of existing jobs and the new jobs the expansion will create for the River Region community,” said Executive Director Paul Aucoin of the Port of South Louisiana. “We look forward to working with Noranda throughout the process.”
Noranda is a subsidiary of New Day Aluminum, which acquired the refinery from its previous owner in bankruptcy proceedings in Missouri in 2016. New Day Aluminum is affiliated with DADA Holdings, an investment and management company based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
“To hear an announcement of a $35 million investment is good news to begin with, but to learn that this company wants to locate its corporate offices in St. James Parish brings it to another level,” said St. James Parish President Timothy “Timmy” Roussel. “We commend Noranda and their new ownership. In speaking with Noranda representatives, it is the belief that we can make a difference – for the better – in people’s lives, and my administration will continue to take advantage of every opportunity. I am happy for Noranda and for St. James Parish as well. This is a statement on their part that they want to continue to be a large part of our community, because St. James Parish is a great place to live, work, play and grow.”
“GNO Inc. is proud to support Noranda’s expansion in St. James Parish, which will create 65 jobs and result in a $35 million capital expenditure,” said President and CEO Michael Hecht of Greater New Orleans Inc. “This announcement confirms that the River Region is a great location both for operations and headquarters. We look forward to working with Noranda as they grow in greater New Orleans.”
About Noranda Bauxite & Alumina
Noranda operations include the alumina refining and Jamaican bauxite mining assets acquired in late 2016 by the partners of DADA Holdings, an investment and management company based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. DADA makes control investments and manages companies in basic industries, such as metals and mining. Noranda exports bauxite globally, is the largest importer of bauxite to the U.S., and is the largest U.S. producer of alumina. Noranda produces smelter-grade alumina for the production of aluminum, as well as chemical-grade alumina for the production of a wide array of products, including water treatment, flame retardants, catalysts for oil, gas and petrochemical refining, building materials, insulation and related products.