Luling, La. – Gov. John Bel Edwards and Monsanto President and Chief Operating Officer Brett Begemann announced the company’s decision today to expand its Luling manufacturing site with a $975 million capital investment over the next three years. The investment in its St. Charles Parish operations will enable Monsanto to support the launch of its Roundup Ready® Xtend Crop System.
When completed in early 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. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in another 450 new permanent indirect jobs, for a total of more than 540 new jobs in Louisiana. Monsanto estimates the project will generate 1,000 construction jobs at peak building activity.
“Monsanto’s decision to reinvest in St. Charles Parish represents a vote of confidence in the business climate of greater New Orleans and Louisiana,” said President and CEO Michael Hecht of Greater New Orleans Inc. “We thank the board of Monsanto, and congratulate our partners in St. Charles and Louisiana Economic Development. The remarkable economic expansion of the River Region continues.”
“Agribusiness and chemistry represent two of the most important business sectors in our state, and this major manufacturing investment by Monsanto strengthens each of these key industries,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “We’re encouraged by Monsanto’s vote of confidence in Louisiana as a great place to do business and a vital part of its manufacturing operations. Above all, we’re delighted that hundreds of existing jobs will be secured by this expansion, and that we will grow the workforce of Monsanto with new career opportunities for more Louisiana families. Along the way, we will be supporting farmers across the state and our nation with products made here in St. Charles Parish.”
In June 2015, Monsanto and the State of Louisiana announced the company’s preliminary plans to expand the Luling site. Monsanto’s board of directors voted today to authorize the investment. In 2010, Monsanto completed a $196 million expansion at Luling that boosted production of agricultural herbicides there by 20 percent. 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.
“With more than 60 years of commitment to the Luling community, we are proud to move forward with this facility expansion and play a role in the economic well-being of South Louisiana,” Begemann said. “Our Luling facility’s unique geographic location within our manufacturing network will help provide our farmer customers across the Americas with better access to a critical weed management tool.”
Upon completion of the project, the Luling site is expected to supply 25 percent to 35 percent of eventual market demand for dicamba-based products. Dicamba 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 will provide 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 rail and electrical infrastructure costs associated with the expansion. The company will receive the comprehensive solutions of LED FastStart® – the nation’s top-ranked state workforce development program. In addition, Monsanto is expected to utilize Louisiana’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
“We are pleased that Monsanto is choosing to make the largest single investment in its history in St. Charles Parish,” said St. Charles Parish President Larry Cochran. “This expansion will generate economic growth in our community in the form of high-paying job opportunities for local residents and procurement opportunities for local small businesses. We always welcome new businesses to St. Charles, but we especially value expansions from our existing industry partners.”