$120 million investment will result in hundreds of new jobs

$120 million investment will result in hundreds of new jobs

POSTED: Thursday, December 13, 2012 - 1:30pm

UPDATED: Thursday, December 13, 2012 - 4:11pm

New jobs are coming to the Port of Greater Baton Rouge and other areas of the state due to a $120 million investment by Drax Biomass International Inc.

Today the company announced plans to build a wood pellet facility in Bastrop and a storage-and-shipping facility at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge. The project will create 63 new direct jobs, with 47 of the jobs located at the Bastrop wood pellet facility and 16 jobs at the shipping facility in Port Allen. An estimated 143 indirect jobs will be created at both locations.

“This is an exciting step for us,” Chuck Davis, Drax Biomass CEO, said. “With Louisiana’s support, we are looking forward to moving these projects through development and into construction during the first part of 2013. Drax Biomass is focused on building and operating clean, safe manufacturing facilities that will support local economies, create long-term jobs, and interface with regional forest industries.”

With 169,000 acres of timberland as a renewable resource hub in Morehouse Parish, Drax also will draw on forestry products within a 50-mile radius of its wood pellet facility, to be located 10 miles north of Bastrop in the Beekman community. The project will tap private and industrial landowners who manage sustainable forests in the region, using logs and residual forest products that will be sized and dried before being pelletized at the Drax plant. The pellets will be further sized and conditioned for transport to the U.K. via bulk cargo ships.

The company anticipates 250 construction jobs for the yearlong building phase of the project. Hiring will is estimated to begin in 2014.

“We appreciate the investment that Drax Biomass is making in our parish,” said CEO Kay King of the Morehouse Economic Development Corporation. “The plant will create not only jobs in our parish but sustain the forestry industry in our region. Developments of this size are always a team effort and there have been many dedicated people working at the state and local level to make this happen. It has been a pleasure for our organization to be involved in this process.”

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