Monsanto Breaks Ground On $975 Million Louisiana Expansion
Caitlin Berni | email@example.com | Published on February 3, 2017
LULING, La. — Today, Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson, Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture & Forestry Mike Strain and Monsanto Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer Kerry Preete joined other state, local and company officials in a groundbreaking celebration at Monsanto’s Luling operations. Monsanto will make a $975 million capital investment at the site, with new production technology that supports the launch of its Roundup Ready® Xtend Crop System.
After completion in 2019, the Louisiana expansion project will create 95 new direct jobs averaging $76,500 per year, plus benefits, and 20 new contractor jobs. The company will retain 645 existing company jobs in Luling, and LED estimates the project will result in another 450 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 540 new permanent jobs in Louisiana. Monsanto estimates the project will generate 1,000 construction jobs at peak building activity.
“Monsanto’s decision to expand with such a significant investment demonstrates the strength of the River Parishes as an optimal location for industrial businesses and an unwavering commitment to our community,” said Michael Hecht, president and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. “GNO, Inc. congratulates Monsanto on today’s groundbreaking, and we look forward to working with Monsanto to ensure their continued success.”
“The State of Louisiana is proud to support Monsanto and its growth of new agribusiness technology that will strengthen food and textile production domestically and around the world,” Secretary Pierson said. “Innovation is essential in driving company productivity and success in the marketplace. The world-class Louisiana workforce at this Luling site represents some of the best talent and strongest work ethic to be found anywhere. We’re proud of the work they do each day and we’re delighted to help them usher in another era of new accomplishment for Monsanto, for St. Charles Parish, and for the State of Louisiana.”
Monsanto and the State of Louisiana announced the company’s preliminary plans to expand the Luling site in June 2015. In April 2016, Monsanto’s board of directors authorized the final investment leading to the launch of construction this month. The new investment follows a previous $200 million expansion completed by Monsanto in Luling in 2010. During the next decade, Monsanto expects to launch its Roundup Ready Extend Crop System in the U.S., Brazil and other parts of Latin America, meeting growing demand across 250 million acres of farmland in the Americas.
“This new product is another tool that will assist farmers in fighting resistant weeds,” Commissioner Strain said. “The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry will require training provided by Monsanto to ensure the proper use of this product. From an agricultural standpoint, our producers are always looking for ways to enhance sustainable production. From an economic standpoint, Monsanto continues to invest in Louisiana. It’s an investment that will bring additional jobs to the area.”
“Monsanto is proud to celebrate this important milestone today,” Preete said. “This expansion represents the single largest capital investment in Monsanto’s self-manufacturing history and reinforces the confidence our company’s leadership has in our Luling team and the commitment to the local community.”
Upon completion of the expansion project, the Luling site is expected to supply about one-third of the eventual market demand for dicamba-based products. Dicamba, along with glyphosate, is the active weed-control ingredient in the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System. The Luling site will play an important role in helping farmers produce better harvests and meet the global demand for food, with initial use of the new product in soybean and cotton crops.
LED’s Business Expansion and Retention Group, or BERG, began formal project discussions with Monsanto about a potential project in March 2015. To secure the project, the State of Louisiana is providing Monsanto a performance-based Modernization Tax Credit of $3.75 million, along with a performance-based $1.7 million Economic Development Award Program grant to reimburse some rail and electrical upgrade costs associated with the expansion. The company will receive the comprehensive solutions of LED FastStart® – the nation’s top-ranked state workforce development program – and is expected to utilize Louisiana’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
“This expansion will contribute great economic growth for our parish and will result in full-time, permanent job opportunities for our local workforce,” said St. Charles Parish President Larry Cochran. “We are looking forward to building upon the relationship we have with Monsanto.”