EVANGELINE PARISH, La. Gov. John Bel Edwards and Cabot Corporation Senior Vice President Bart Kalkstein announced Tuesday that Cabot will make a $90 million capital investment to enhance the performance of its plant in Ville Platte, Louisiana.
The facility manufactures carbon black, a key material that extends the life of tires and other rubber products.
With the investment, Cabot will create 15 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of more than $73,000, plus benefits; this is in addition to Cabot’s existing 90 jobs at the site.
Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in another 47 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 60 new jobs in Evangeline Parish and the Acadiana Region. The project will generate over 380 construction jobs.
“Cabot has a proud history of manufacturing in Louisiana, having launched its Ville Platte operations 77 years ago to support our nation’s World War II effort,” Gov. Edwards said. “Just last year, Cabot earned one of Louisiana’s Lantern Awards as a top manufacturer in our state. We’re encouraged by Cabot’s steps to continue that great legacy by enhancing its efficiency, improving its environmental performance and modernizing its operations in Evangeline Parish.”
Natural gas reservoirs led Cabot to select Ville Platte for new manufacturing operations in 1943. Today, the company makes carbon black by converting byproduct stream from oil refineries into a solid granular form of carbon. Cabot ships its products by rail and bulk truck from Ville Platte to customers throughout North America. In a cohesive system, the new project will capture waste energy to create steam from an incineration process, remove impurities, and generate electricity to power site operations.
“We are proud to announce this investment in a state-of-the-art energy center for our Ville Platte facility, which will allow us to make clean power without generating any additional emissions,” Kalkstein said. “In addition to the jobs this new energy center project will create, we’re also looking forward to the tremendous sustainability benefits this project will enable, including reductions in sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and indirect greenhouse gas emissions. We are proud to continue leading our industry in sustainability through our implementation of these world-class technologies.”
LED began discussing the potential project with Cabot in June 2018. To secure the project, the State of Louisiana offered the company a competitive incentive package that includes a $1 million performance-based grant, which will offset infrastructure costs, and a $500,000 Modernization Tax Credit, which will be provided in five annual installments. In addition, Cabot is expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
“Cabot’s decision to undergo a major investment in their plant in Evangeline Parish is a testament to the strength of our talented, diverse and dedicated workforce,” said Evangeline Parish Police Jury President Ryan LeDay Williams. “I’m pleased to see this fantastic company continue to invest in Ville Platte and create valuable, family-wage job opportunities. Cabot has been a great asset to our community, and we look forward to our continued partnership.”
Construction of the project is expected to begin by the second quarter of 2021 and be completed in 2022. Cabot will begin filling the new permanent jobs earlier that year.
“This investment by Cabot, both in jobs and capital improvements, reinforces their long-term commitment to Evangeline Parish,” said Dr. William “Tojo” Ward, president of the Evangeline Industrial Board No. 1. “We are proud to join in their success.”
“Cabot’s investment shows that South Louisiana is a tremendous place for global businesses to invest, grow and create jobs,” said President and CEO of One Acadiana Troy Wayman. “We could not be prouder to help secure this opportunity for such an innovative leader in the manufacturing sector. One Acadiana is delighted to join our partners in celebrating Cabot’s continued investment in Evangeline Parish.”