Japanese Chemical Giant UBE Unveils Plans for $500 million Louisiana Plant
Japanese Chemical Giant UBE Unveils Plans for $500 million Louisiana Plant

Japanese Chemical Giant UBE Unveils Plans for $500 million Louisiana Plant

  • 07-Mar-2024 11:31 AM
  • Journalist: Xiang Hong

UBE Corporation, a prominent Japanese chemical company, has recently made a significant announcement regarding its plans to invest $500 million in establishing the inaugural U.S. manufacturing facility for crucial electric vehicle (EV) Lithium Ion Battery (LiB) components - dimethyl carbonate (DMC) and ethyl methyl carbonate (EMC). This strategic initiative aims to enhance the domestic battery components supply chain, consequently reducing the heavy reliance on Chinese imports. The designated site for this groundbreaking project is Cornerstone Energy Park (CEP), situated in Jefferson Parish, approximately 20 miles west of New Orleans, Louisiana.

The implementation of this project will be facilitated through a newly formed entity named UBE C1 Chemicals America, Inc. (UCCA). It is anticipated that UCCA will generate nine direct new job opportunities, while Cornerstone Chemical Company, LLC, will offer an additional 47 direct new jobs in support of UBE operations transitioning to UCCA gradually. Moreover, the project is expected to generate around 300 construction jobs at the peak of construction activities.

This substantial investment of $500 million serves as a testament to Louisiana's prominence in the electric vehicle battery components supply chain and underscores the state's manufacturing workforce's exceptional capabilities. UBE Corporation's decision reflects confidence from the global market in Louisiana's strategic positioning, abundant natural resources, and skilled labor force.

The primary applications of DMC and EMC lie in the production of the electrolyte essential for lithium-ion batteries, contributing to prolonged battery life and increased driving range for electric vehicles. Additionally, DMC plays a pivotal role in certain semiconductor manufacturing processes. UBE's proprietary nitrite process, developed since the 1970s, ensures minimal environmental impact and significantly reduces by-products compared to conventional plants and processes, particularly those in mainland China.

This manufacturing facility represents UBE's inaugural large-scale chemical facility in the United States, with CEP offering not only a strategic location but also access to raw materials required for manufacturing, a plentiful labor force, and competitive logistical capabilities. The projected output of the facility is estimated at 100,000 metric tons of DMC per year and 40,000 metric tons of EMC, derived from DMC, annually. Construction is slated to commence before the year's end, pending necessary permit approvals, with completion expected by mid-2026 and operations set to begin by late 2026.

To ensure the success of this significant project, Louisiana has offered a compelling incentives package, featuring LED FastStart, a comprehensive solution for workforce development. UBE Corporation is also set to benefit from Louisiana's Industrial Tax Exemption and Quality Jobs programs. This initiative closely aligns with the efforts of the Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO) to foster quality job creation, investment, and opportunities within the environmental and engineering sectors.

The arrival of UBE Corporation to Jefferson Parish is regarded as a significant honor, given its esteemed reputation and multi-generational legacy. Furthermore, UBE's new facility advances Louisiana's positioning as a prime location for future energy projects by spearheading the establishment of the first electric vehicle battery supply chain project in the Southeast Region. Additionally, UBE's operations are poised to enhance national security efforts by serving as the sole U.S. site capable of providing these critical elements for the country's energy supply chain.

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