ST. GABRIEL, La. (BRPROUD) — Koura, an electric battery material plant in St. Gabriel, is considering about $800 million in expansion projects in Iberville Parish that would assist in the domestic production of 1.7 million electric vehicles yearly, according to a news release from Louisiana Economic Development.
An estimated 100 new direct jobs with $80,000 average salaries are expected to be created if the projects are green-lit, per the release. About 2,000 construction jobs are expected to be created while the projects are being built. LED also estimates that another 283 indirect new jobs will be made in the region.
“Koura’s proposed expansion is a prime example of how supporting clean energy and emission reduction projects can benefit our state’s established petrochemical sector and drive economic growth,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “If these projects come to fruition, Louisiana will play a key role in bolstering the U.S. EV battery supply chain while also providing high-paying job opportunities for our skilled workforce for years to come.”
The state, according to the release, “has prepared two competitive incentive packages that would include the comprehensive workforce development solutions of LED FastStart. Each project was also offered a $1.5 million performance-based grant for site infrastructure and a $1 million retention and modernization tax credit.” The incentives are based on meeting specific targets.
The first project would build a $400 million manufacturing facility, the first like it in the U.S. It could make 10,000 metric tons of LiPF6 per year.
Koura proposed another $400 million investment to build a new production plant likely to produce 40,00 metric tons of R-142b annually, according to a news release from LED.
“Koura’s proposal for building two new operating units at the company’s St. Gabriel facility located in Iberville Parish would certainly enhance the economy in Iberville Parish and the state of Louisiana for both job creation and capital investment,” said Iberville Parish President Mitchell Ourso Jr.
The company should make a decision in the next few months. Construction could start in 2025 with an expected start of operations in 2026.