Crest Industries is creating a new specialty chemicals company that will manufacture innovative products at the Central Louisiana Regional Port in Alexandria.
Crest Industries will make a $4 million capital investment and create 40 new direct jobs through the project, which is subject to a final lease agreement.
Avant Organics represents a new business sector for Crest Industries, applying advanced scientific research to enhance attributes, such as flavor and fragrance, for products in the food and beverage, pharmaceutical and other sectors. The company’s new direct jobs will feature an average annual salary of $75,000, plus benefits, and Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will yield another 215 new indirect jobs, for a total of 255 new jobs in Central Louisiana.
Based in Pineville, the Crest Industries—in business for more than six decades—employs more than 800 people in a diverse slate of companies serving customers in electrical infrastructure, distribution, industrial services and natural resources.
Avant Organics would be the second Crest Industries company with a permanent facility at the Central Louisiana Regional Port. DIS-TRAN Packaged Substations operates at the port and has produced thousands of customized electrical substations for the nation’s power grid. Though Avant Organics will operate in a different industry sector, the Red River location complements the import-export and workforce needs of each business.
“We empower our people to be innovators and find solutions that have a lasting impact on the industries and people we serve,” said Kenny Robison, Crest Industries CEO and owner. “At Crest, we believe and teach the concept of having a founder’s mentality. By empowering the frontlines of our company with the tools and resources they need, they will help lead Crest into the future. And that is exactly how Avant Organics was created.”
Brad Fontenot, the president of DIS-TRAN Packaged Substations, also will serve as the chief executive for Avant Organics.
The company will receive multiple Louisiana financial incentives, including the LED FastStart, Louisiana Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs. It is also eligible for a $500,000 performance-based Economic Development Award Program grant for site infrastructure costs.
The Central Louisiana Regional Port and its tenants benefit from a Foreign Trade Zone associated with nearby England Airpark. Through the FTZ designation, Avant Organics will be able to import raw materials at the Alexandria port and convert them into manufactured products without paying customs duties. In addition to nearby Alexandria International Airport and interstate highway access, the port’s tenants benefit from Class I rail service provided by Union Pacific and Kansas City Southern railroads.
Crest Industries officials expect to begin production at the Avant Organics port facility by the third quarter of 2021. Job seekers interested in future work at Avant Organics may submit résumés and search for positions as they become available at CrestOperations.com/careers.