Company interested in Ormet site

Staff reports

A company that may invest some $2 billion and bring around 300 new jobs is looking at an Ascension Parish site along the Mississippi River.

Ascension Economic Development Corp. officials said the company, which has requested confidentiality, is interested in the land near the Ormet Corp. alumina site that closed in 2006.

The company reportedly looked at the parish in the past and backed off, but is now showing renewed interest in the site.

Building a site like the Ormet terminal elsewhere would cost some $100 million, which the prospect would like to avoid, according to AEDC officials.

Ormet, which ceased operations at the terminal in 2007, made alumina, which is a key ingredient in producing finished aluminum at smelting factories.

AEDC board members discussed the new prospect at its quarterly meeting Thursday in Sorrento.

AEDC officials currently are pursuing some 20 active business prospects. The Ormet prospect would be the largest investor by far due to the hundreds of new jobs and the more than $2 billion in capital investment possible.

Three new prospects requested information about the parish over the last week. One is seeking rail access, while another is looking into a possible call center facility near the Cabela’s store along Interstate 10 and Hwy. 30 in Gonzales.