BASF moving forward with $780M expansion in Geismar

BASF is moving forward with a $780 million expansion at its Verbund site in Geismar, the company announced last week.

This is the final phase of an expansion project that kicked off with a $150 million investment announced in 2018. The project allows BASF to retain more than 1,000 existing jobs and add 37 new jobs with average annual salaries of $86,600 to $105,600, state officials say.

BASF has now invested more than $2 billion in new projects and improvements at the Geismar site since 2009, says Jerry Lebold, BASF’s senior vice president and the site’s general manager.

BASF will increase production capacity for methylene diphenyl diisocyanate to 600,000 metric tons per year. MDI is used in the production of polyurethanes for many applications, including the manufacture of rigid polyurethane foams used for home and refrigerator insulation, according to the American Chemistry Council.

The investment strengthens BASF’s supply reliability and the competitiveness of its customers’ value chains in the region, says Michael Heinz, BASF’s chair and CEO.

As one of BASF’s Verbund sites, the Geismar location is suited for the expansion of MDI production thanks to its existing infrastructure, Heinz says in a prepared statement.

The company expects to complete the expansion by the end of 2025.

To secure the project, the state offered a competitive incentive package that includes a $1 million Retention and Modernization Tax Credit, officials say. BASF also is expected to utilize Louisiana’s Industrial Tax Exemption and Quality Jobs programs.