CF invests $2.1 billion to expand Donaldsonville complex

DeRon Talley
Governor Bobby Jindal announces the expansion of the CF Industries nitrogen plant in Donaldsonville last Thursday.

Governor Bobby Jindal announced that CF Industries will invest $2.1 billion to increase its plant's nitrogen capacity last Thursday in Donaldsonville. With the expansion, CF Industries will create 93 direct jobs of salaries more than $56,000 annually and full benefits, retain 349 existing jobs and 250 contractor jobs. The 93 new jobs will result in another 686 indirect jobs, which means about 780 jobs will be created through this investment.

"This announcement represents one of the largest single capital investments in the history of Ascension Parish, and not only that, one of the biggest investments in our state's history," Governor Jindal said.

The $2.1 billion investment will allow CF Industries to expand its nitrogen products capacity and enhance the performance of the products produced at the Donaldsonville complex. The complex is already America's largest and, in many respects, its most flexible nitrogen operation. At capacity, the Donaldsonville complex exports more than five million tons of products annually.

"An important factor of their decision to expand here as the expectation to the amount of corn planted in the U.S. and coming years, because corn grows best with nitrogen fertilizer. I say that because I want all of you to go out and eat as much corn as you possibly can to make sure this plant stays busy," Governor Jindal said, getting laughter from the audience.

Another reason CF Industries finds favor in the Donaldsonville complex is because its location provides numerous advantages, including access to low-cost river and other transportation modes, abundant supplies of natural gas.

"This location allows them to ship nitrogen products for fertilizer around the country and the world," Governor Jindal said.

"CF Industries could have invested in other states," Governor Jindal said. "They chose to build here because we have a great business climate, abundant supply of natural gas, strong transportation and very importantly, the best workers you will find in the entire world."

Tony Will, the company's senior vice president of manufacturing and distribution, took the podium following the governor and announced CF Industries would build new ammonia and urea/urea-ammonium nitrate production units at its complex by 2016.

"We are confident in the economic value this announcement will provide to the region," Will said.

The local elected officials were very pleased with the investment. Ascension Parish Council Woman Teri Casso and the Mayor of Donaldsonville, Leroy Sullivan, expressed their gratitude for the economic development CF Industries is bringing.

Casso thanked CF Industries for its commitment to the parish and the current and future generation of workers.

"We look forward to your ground breaking," she said.

Mayor Sullivan, who is a former employee at CF Industries, said he is deeply excited and appreciative to be part of such a "wonderful announcement."

"It's awesome," Mayor Sullivan said, "and it's right here. This is a great day for Ascension Parish, a great day for the state of Louisiana, but this is a great day for the city of Donaldsonville because CF is the city of Donaldsonville."

He said, "They have always been good neighbors to the city and I just appreciate the job they have done and the commitment to our community."