The St. Charles Parish Council gave the last approval needed to give W.R. Grace & Co. an Industrial Tax Exemption on a $41.5 million expansion at its Norco facility.
The council approved the request unanimously.
Corey Faucheux, the parish’s economic development director, told the council at Monday’s meeting that the tax break would equal $240,000 a year or $2.4 million over the 10-year period.
Under the new rules for the tax exemption, the Louisiana Board of Commerce and Industry along with the parish’s largest three taxing entities – parish government, school district and Sheriff’s Office – must approve the tax break.
Faucheux said it is approved for five years and then comes up for a five-year renewal. The company must pay full sales tax on materials and added inventory.
Plant Manager Wei Deng said work is underway on fitting the petrochemical plant with the equipment to increase its production capacity of polypropylene catalyst, which is used in such products as microwaveable containers and plastic wrap, and automotive bumpers.
Grace’s Norco operation is located on a 15-acre site in the Shell complex and is growing to meet rising demand for polypropylene catalyst, Deng said.
“Right now, we’re sold out,” he said of growing operations to meet the rising market.
Expanding operations will add another 20 percent production a year of polypropylene resin, Deng said.
The expansion will create five permanent jobs. The company employs 74 total of which 49 are Grace employees and 25 are permanent maintenance contractors.
Plans are to fire up the expanded plant with a soft startup in February 2020 with full production coming online by May of that year, he said.
Deng called the Norco operation “a strategic site for Grace” and one that is unique for the company.
This is the only company site that produces six types of polypropylene resin, which he anticipates will be an advantage toward possible future growth, particularly with local assistance.
“This is the first step for us … to reach out to St. Charles Parish to get help,” Deng said. “I’m really pleased with the council. They are very supportive. They certainly want to make sure we continue to do right for the community, as well.”
“Right now, we’re sold out.” — Wei Deng
Council members praised the company’s community support.
Deng said Grace donated money for the New Sarpy Elementary School, has its employees educate the students on what Grace does, as well as supports Destrehan High School’s robotics program, provides iPads for students with St. Charles Parish Public Schools, and contributes to the Susan G. Komen Foundation and to the United Way of St. Charles for domestic violence.
Grace is an American chemical conglomerate headquartered in Columbia, Md. This global petrochemical company has operations throughout the world with sites in Canada, Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, Finland, Kuwait and Germany.
To apply for a job at Grace, visit: www.grace.com/careers.
Who is W.R. Grace and Co.?
- W.R. Grace and Co. is an American chemical conglomerate based in Columbia, Md., that acquired the Norco facility in 2013. It is located on Shell’s west site near the Bonnet Carre’ Spillway.
- The Norco site employs employs 74 people, of which 49 are Grace employees and 25 are permanent contractors. Its annual payroll is $5 million.
- In December 2013, Grace acquired UNIPOL Polypropylene Process Technology, a proprietary gas phase process technology to make a broad range of polypropylene products. The technology and process include development and production of sixth generation non-phthalate CONSISTA Catalysts Systems and SHAC Catalysts Systems that are used by polypropylene resin manufacturers worldwide in making sophisticated plastics used in a wide variety of applications from food packaging and furniture to auto parts and medical instruments.