European manufacturer selects Louisiana as site of first U.S. plant

NEW ORLEANS – Specialty cement manufacturer Calucem will enter the U.S. market by developing a $35 million manufacturing facility in eastern New Orleans. Calucem, a subsidiary of Spain-based Cementos Molins, is the world’s second-largest producer of calcium aluminate cement, a high-performance product popular in a variety of commercial and industrial uses.

The project will create 70 direct jobs at an average annual salary of $51,700, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project also will result in 158 indirect jobs, for a total of 228 new jobs for Louisiana’s Southeast Region.

“These good-paying jobs will make a big difference for the community of New Orleans East, and the presence of a major international company like Calucem will be a boon for our entire state,” Governor John Bel Edwards said. “Calucem is the latest company to recognize the quality of our nation-leading workforce development programs and Louisiana’s unrivaled shipping infrastructure. Our state has many more strategic locations like the site Calucem selected, and our work to grow and diversify our economy and create jobs will continue.”

Calucem plans to develop the facility at a nine-acre site on the Industrial Canal, and the company estimates the project will support 150 construction jobs. The facility is expected to begin operations in the third quarter of 2023.

“Calucem is taking on a new investment that will support our growth and diversification in the U.S. and ensure that we continue to offer high-value products to our global customers,” Calucem President and CEO Yuri Bouwhuis said. “Our choice of Louisiana for our first all-new manufacturing project in the U.S. is due to the availability of strategic raw materials such as limestone and natural gas, access to waterways and skilled labor, and the long history of using specialty cement products in the U.S.”

Cementos Molins, Calucem’s parent company, is based in Madrid with facilities in 12 countries on four continents. The Louisiana project will create its third calcium aluminate production center, joining Barcelona, Spain, and Pula, Croatia.

“This investment drives the company’s growth in innovative solutions for the construction sector and consolidates Cementos Molins as a world reference in the production of calcium aluminate cement,” Cementos Molins CEO Julio Rodriguez said. “I deeply thank the entire Calucem team for their efforts to announce this operation and the great work developed by the company in recent years in favor of the development of more sustainable products and solutions.”

Entergy New Orleans worked with Calucem to ensure the company’s electrical and natural gas demand could be met at the project site. The company said the project is contingent on New Orleans City Council approval of a payment in lieu of taxes agreement, or PILOT.

“We are excited to welcome Calucem to New Orleans,” Mayor LaToya Cantrell said. “Calucem’s $35 million investment in New Orleans East and the creation of 70 well-paying jobs highlight my administration’s commitment to growing higher-wage jobs in our communities and diversifying our economic base. This investment also demonstrates the significant global impact an international city like New Orleans has on the world economic stage. The city and its Office of Economic Development have worked closely with our economic development partners to attract Calucem here and ensure that they thrive. We look forward to the growth and success of Calucem in our city for years to come.”

To secure the project, the State of Louisiana offered a competitive incentive package featuring the comprehensive solutions of LED FastStart, which was recently named the nation’s No. 1 state workforce development program for the 13th year in a row. The incentive package also includes a performance-based $700,000 award through the Economic Development Award Program to support site infrastructure improvements. In addition, the company is expected to participate in the Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.

“This is a rewarding project announcement, as Calucem brings new jobs and foreign dollars to New Orleans East,” said Michael Hecht, president and CEO of Greater New Orleans Inc. “The $35 million investment and 70 jobs will put an underutilized site into production, create local opportunity and help provide a high-demand product for the nation.”

“NOLABA is very excited about the economic potential of this significant international investment,” said Norman E. Barnum IV, president and CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance. “Calucem’s rigorous site selection process shows that New Orleans East offers strong opportunities for business expansion across the globe and in our own community. NOLABA looks forward to working with the Calucem team and the New Orleans East community to ensure this project is successful.”

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