GEISMAR, La.  (BRPROUD) — A chemical company broke ground on a $780-million investment into its Geismar, Louisiana location on Wednesday, Jan. 11.

BASF, according to a news release, will increase the methylene diphenyl diisocyanate production to about 600,000 metric tons per year. This phase of the project is expected to be complete in 2025.

Total investment, per the release, is $1 billion and the whole project makes this the company’s “largest wholly owned investment in North America.”

“BASF already ranks among the largest and most forward-looking chemical companies in the United States,” said Michael Heinz, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, BASF Corporation. “Through this investment, we demonstrate our commitment to meeting the needs of our customers while strengthening our foundation for continued growth in the important U.S. market.”

This is the third, final phase of an expansion project at the Verbund site.

The expansion started in 2018. A new synthesis unit was added in 2020. In 2021, upstream units were expanded. This portion of the project adds new upstream units and a splitter.

Methylene diphenyl diisocyanate is used in the production of some polyurethane, including insulation.