Corporate expansion to bring new jobs to St. John Parish

Corporate expansion to bring new jobs to St. John Parish

LAPLACE, LA (WVUE) - Governor Bobby Jindal and Denka Performance Elastomer LLC President and CEO Koki Tabuchi announced the creation of a new corporate headquarters at the company's LaPlace site, where Denka has acquired the Neoprene synthetic rubber business of DuPont Performance Polymers.

The project will create 16 new corporate executive jobs with an average annual salary estimated by LED at $80,000, plus benefits.

LED also estimates the project will result in another 81 new indirect jobs, for a total of nearly 100 new jobs in the greater New Orleans area and the Southeast Region of Louisiana.

Denka Performance Elastomer will retain 235 existing manufacturing jobs associated with the Pontchartrain Works production site in LaPlace, where DuPont will continue to operate its separately owned DuPont™ Kevlar® business.

Gov. Jindal said, "The decision to establish corporate headquarters in Louisiana becomes a sound investment for companies like Denka Performance Elastomer. We're delighted that they will be creating valuable corporate headquarters jobs in Louisiana and continuing to employ the talented manufacturing employees who have made the Pontchartrain Works site in LaPlace successful for so many years."

Today's corporate headquarters announcement accompanies Denka's just completed acquisition of DuPont's polychloroprene synthetic rubber business, known by the trade name Neoprene.

Material produced at the LaPlace site finds use in such consumer products as wet suits, orthopedic braces, adhesives, electrical insulation and coatings. New owner Denka Performance Elastomer is a joint venture of majority owner Denka Company Limited (with 70 percent of the equity) and Mitsui & Co. Ltd., both Japanese companies.

"Chloroprene rubber has been a core business for Denka Japan for many years, and I am sure this new addition in LaPlace will largely contribute to our further growth, enabling us to serve the market and the customers better," Tabuchi said. "I am also very glad that it is located here, with a lot of support from the state, the parish and the people in town."

LED began discussing the project with Denka Performance Elastomer in February 2015.

To secure the project, the State of Louisiana offered the company a competitive incentive package that includes the comprehensive workforce solutions of LED FastStart®, ranked the No. 1 state workforce development program in the nation. In addition, the company is expected to utilize Louisiana's Quality Jobs Program.

"I want to congratulate Denka and Mitsui on their agreement to purchase the Neoprene section of DuPont and to establish Denka Performance Elastomer LLC," said Parish President Natalie Robottom of St. John the Baptist Parish. "When coupled with the quality workforce of DuPont's 235 employees and the establishment of Denka's headquarters location in LaPlace, I believe this acquisition will truly thrive as part of Denka's portfolio."

The Denka Performance Elastomer project is the latest in a series of corporate headquarters expansion and relocation projects announced in Louisiana. Since 2008, the state has attracted new or expanding corporate headquarters projects from CenturyLink, Bercen, Ronpak, Rain CII, Smoothie King, IntegriCo, Danos, Crest Industries, Pelican Energy and International Shipholding, among others.

"The win is significant for St. John and greater New Orleans because it is not only another foreign direct investment win, but also represents retention of over 200 manufacturing jobs, and the addition of nearly 20 high-paying corporate headquarters positions," said President and CEO Michael Hecht of Greater New Orleans Inc. "In this sense, it is a triple-win for economic development in Louisiana."

Copyright WVUE 2015. All rights reserved.