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03 07, 2013 by The Times-Picayune
A Belgian logistics firm announced Wednesday that it plans to build a 2 million square foot petrochemical storage and processing facility near the ExxonMobil plant in Baton Rouge. Katoen Natie's $150 million complex will both process and store chemical products and is expected to employ about 200 people in the area, state and company officials said at a news conference at the Governor's Mansion Wednesday afternoon.
The Baton Rouge site was chosen because of its access to two rail networks, the Kansas City Southern Railway and the Canadian National Railroad, and because of the natural gas boom in the region, said Frank Vingerhoets, Katoen Natie's President of petrochemicals in North America.
"We're excited to announce we will expand our global network," Vingerhoets said.
Gov. Bobby Jindal and Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden both praised the project and Holden said further economic development projects were on the horizon.
"We're not through yet, there are going to be other announcements coming throughout the year," Holden said.
The complex itself will employ about 210 people and state officials estimate the project will create about 516 indirect jobs. About 150 people will be employed in the construction of the facility.
The project is expected to qualify for the state's Quality Jobs and industrial tax exemptions and will use the state Department of Economic Development's FastStart program for hiring and training.
The first phase of the project is expected to be completed by the end of the year and include the construction of about 600,000 feet of storage space and rail lines. Officials expect the entire project will be completed by 2018.
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