New industrial plants and other major projects are generating jobs by the thousands. While most of these jobs will last only until the projects are complete, the ongoing business they enable will create many permanent positions. Here are snapshots of a few developments around the state.
LAKE CHARLES – Job generation continues in the state’s hottest economic hot spot as a Houston-based company lays plans for a $2 billion natural gas liquefaction and exporting terminal in Calcasieu Parish. State officials say the project will generate 100 new jobs at the plant, to be built on the Calcasieu Ship Channel near Lake Charles. This latest LNG terminal is a project of Parallax Energy, which expects to produce up to 5 million metric tons of liquids per year. The company has begun the federal permitting process and, assuming it is successful, will begin construction in late 2016.
Paper Yields to Aluminum
PINEVILLE – The once-bustling site of large paper mill soon will return to life as an aluminum manufacturing plant that will employ scores of workers in central Louisiana. American Specialty Alloys Inc. will develop a $2.4 billion aluminum mill and campus at Pineville to serve the automotive and aerospace industries. Construction will begin on what will eventually become a 3,000-acre campus with an annual payroll of more than $100 million, according to state officials, who say some 850 people will find jobs at the site formerly occupied by International Paper.
Business cruises toward New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS – The world’s largest operator of luxury river cruises will set up shop in New Orleans when it launches its first North American service. Switzerland-based Viking River Cruises, which operates some 60 vessels on rivers around the globe, will make New Orleans the home port for itineraries that will ply the Mississippi River. Beginning in 2017, the cruises will operate from docks near the French Quarter and make stops in St. James, East Baton Rouge and West Feliciana parishes before continuing upriver to Memphis, St. Louis or St. Paul, Minn. The cruises are expected to create more than 400 local jobs. State officials predict that most passengers on the 300-person vessels will come from outside the state, producing spinoff benefits for local businesses.
Holding Onto Its Tech Edge
MONROE – A year after breaking ground on a new technology center at its Monroe headquarters, telecommunications giant CenturyLink is opening the 250,000-square-foot facility where it will develop new tools for providing Internet and information technology services, cloud computing and similar technologies. Some 800 people eventually could work in the center, where the company has said it intends to attract top talent from around the world. The nation’s third-largest telecommunications company, CenturyLink developed the center with an aim toward keeping the company ahead of the rapidly evolving technology curve.
Feeding Appetite For Chemicals
ST. JAMES PARISH – A petrochemical project announced last year by Yuhuang Chemical Inc. is already generating local business. The Chinese company has chosen Paris-based Air Liquide, which operates a pipeline system in Louisiana, to provide oxygen for Yuhuang’s new methanol plant. Air Liquide will build a $170 million plant in St. James Parish to house an air separation unit that produces oxygen, nitrogen and argon to be transported via the company’s pipeline infrastructure. The plant should be operating by the second half of 2017.
Rust-buster Brings Jobs
JENNINGS – About 100 new jobs are on tap, thanks to a $10 million investment planned by Metalplate Galvanizing. The Birmingham, Alabama, company operates six southern U.S. plants, which dip metal in a zinc coating to prevent corrosion. The company says the Jennings plant will support expansion in the steel, petrochemical and other industries.
More Cargo Rides Rails
PORT ALLEN – Rising demand for local rail service has sparked plans for an $11 million rail terminal and industrial park on a 200-acre site near Port Allen. Texas-based USA Rail Terminals expects to employ more than 40 locals when it opens in late 2016. The terminal will handle whole trains as well as single-car shipments and will accommodate some 1,200 rail cars on the property at one time. Commissioners for the Port of Greater Baton Rouge recently approved a $20 million rail expansion project that will support the USA Rail Terminals project and others.