Katoen Natie USA will invest $150 million to build a plastics storage, packaging and distribution facility for petrochemical shippers in Baton Rouge, La., Louisiana Economic Development announced Wednesday.
A company official said the facility will handle the increased chemical production resulting from the booming growth of shale gas production in the United States.
The U.S. subsidiary of the Antwerp, Belgium-based logistics company Katoen Natie NV selected Louisiana for its site because of the high concentration of chemical producers, easy access to railroads and its experienced chemical industry workforce, the state agency said.
The 2 million-square-foot Katoen Natie facility will offer a variety of processing, handling storage and value-added services to chemical producers, and will distribute their products in the United States and around the world. A large railyard will be built on the site with dual connections to the Kansas City Southern Railway and the Canadian National Railroad.
The company plans to take advantage of tax exemptions offered by the state.
The first phase of the project is expected to begin soon, and will include construction of the first 600,000 square feet of storage space, all of the rail lines servicing the facility, half of the available railyard, all rail spurs, and the construction of a six-acre detention pond. The company expects to complete the first phase by the end of 2013, with hiring for 210 new jobs beginning this summer. Katoen Natie expects to complete the entire facility by 2018.
Katoen Natie USA operates six facilities in the United States and is headquartered in Houston. - Eric Kulisch