BASF begins construction on new formic acid plant at Geismar site

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Representative Clay Schexnayder, Chief Deputy Tony Bacala, Senior VP and General Manager of BASF Geismar Tom Yura, John Cagnolatti, Governor Bobby Jindal, Representative John Berthelot, Representative Ed Price, Executive VP & President of Marketing and Business Development Beate Ehle, Ascension Parish Council President Tommy Martinez, Ascension Parish Assessor Elect Mert Smiley, and Gonzales Mayor Barney Arceneaux attend BASF groundbreaking, Oct. 23.

With Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal in attendance, BASF broke ground on a world scale production plant for formic acid at the company’s manufacturing site in Geismar, Oct. 23. With an annual capacity of 50,000 tons, the new formic acid plant will create 20 permanent jobs and an estimated 250 jobs during the construction phase.

This new facility, expected to be complete by mid-2014, will be the 23rd plant in BASF’s largest North American chemical complex located on the 2,600-acre site in Ascension Parish, and the third significant investment in the past two years. BASF completed a new methylamines plant last year at the site that created 11 new jobs, and a surfactants plant starting up in 2013 will create an additional 45 new jobs.

“BASF is one of the largest economic drivers in our state, and projects with the company have yielded over $300 million in new capital investment and over 400 new jobs for Louisianians since 2009,” said Gov. Jindal. “BASF could have invested in other states, but they are choosing to expand right here in Louisiana because we have a great business climate, a strong transportation infrastructure and the best workers in the world.”

BASF’s formic acid plant in Geismar will be the only one of its kind in North America and will allow the company to serve strategic markets in North and South America better. BASF’s customers use formic acid as an eco-friendly solution in a wide range of applications such as animal feed preservatives, roads and runway de-icing, household and industrial cleaning, pharmaceutical and other chemical intermediates, and promotion oil and gas extraction.

“This new plant further strengthens our position as a leading supplier of chemistry for sustainable solutions,” said Tom Yura, BASF’s Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Geismar site. “This investment also demonstrates our commitment to the future growth of this site and our employees in Geismar.”

To secure the project, Louisiana Economic Development helped BASF qualify for a Modernization Tax Credit. BASF also is expected to utilize the state’s Enterprise Zone and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.

BASF’s Geismar site employs more than 1,500 direct and contract employees. For more information about BASF’s formic acid, visit