Project will include expansion of capacity and retention of all 29 current jobs in Ascension Parish.
On June 25, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Veolia North America will make a $40 million capital investment to expand its regeneration plant in Darrow, Louisiana. Known as the Burnside facility, the Veolia plant converts spent sulfuric acid into fresh commercial-quality sulfuric acid, and produces sulfur-based products for the refining industry and others. Veolia will retain all 29 employees with an average annual salary of $83,000, plus benefits.
At the Burnside facility, Veolia will install new equipment and upgrade existing equipment, yielding a 15 percent increase in sulfuric acid regeneration capacity. Refineries use sulfuric acid as a catalyst in alkylation units to produce high-octane gasoline. In the current marketplace, refiners are pushing the U.S. acid regeneration circuit to nearly 100 percent capacity because of spiking demand for alkylate. The expansion will help Veolia grow its regeneration services to meet that increased demand.
"Louisiana's manufacturing workforce is known throughout the world for its enthusiasm, expertise, work ethic and productivity," Gov. Edwards said. "Veolia's investment here is a testament to the success of Louisiana's workforce and our welcoming business climate. By upgrading the Burnside facility, Veolia is retaining good jobs for our people and committing to the future of this location as a key player in the refining industry. I join our state, regional and local elected leaders and economic development officials in congratulating Veolia on this new chapter in Ascension Parish."
The Burnside sulfur regeneration facility in Darrow recently commemorated 50 years of service, and it is Veolia's largest hybrid sulfur-burning facility capable of producing both fuming and non-fuming acids.
"Veolia is committed to growing our services which contribute to the circular economy by supporting production at local refineries and other allied industries," said President and CEO Bill DiCroce of Veolia North America. "The expansion of Burnside helps us directly support industrial businesses in Louisiana and along the U.S. Gulf Coast."
To secure the project in Ascension Parish, the State of Louisiana offered Veolia a competitive incentive package that includes a $450,000 Modernization Tax Credit, a performance-based incentive provided over a five-year period. After Veolia completes renovations to the facility, the company also is expected to use the state's Industrial Tax Exemption Program.
"Ascension Parish is proud of our business-friendly operating environment and strong supply of community-minded, skilled workers," Parish President Kenny Matassa said about the Veolia expansion.
"We applaud Veolia for the continued investment in both their facility and employees, and also for their commitment to safety," said President and CEO Kate MacArthur of the Ascension Economic Development Corp.
The Burnside facility is one of seven plants in Veolia's regeneration services business in the U.S. that provide sulfur products and services to the refinery market. Veolia's North American headquarters are located in Boston and its corporate group headquarters are in Paris.
"Our team was pleased to work with our partners in Ascension Parish to support Veolia's expansion, which not only retains well-paying jobs, but also increases their capacity to lead in the innovative space of environmental footprint reduction for the world's petrochemical sector," said President and CEO Adam Knapp of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber.
Contributed by Louisiana Economic Development