Covington: Governor Bobby Jindal and Rain CII CEO Gerry Sweeney announced the company will move its corporate headquarters from greater Houston to Covington, resulting in more than 140 new direct and indirect jobs in the area. The company was formerly headquartered in the New Orleans area before moving to Texas as a result of facility damage incurred from Hurricane Katrina. Company officials said Rain CII is moving back to Louisiana because of the state's successful business climate and the quick recovery and revitalization of the Greater New Orleans area.
Rain CII Carbon LLC – which produces calcined petroleum coke, an essential element in making aluminum – will create 71 new direct jobs with salaries averaging $102,700 per year, plus benefits. LED estimates the project will result in another 70 new indirect jobs, and the company will also retain 156 existing jobs in Louisiana as a result of the relocation. Of the total 71 new direct jobs, 56 will be created at the Covington headquarters, with the remaining 15 jobs split between plant operations in Chalmette, Norco, Gramercy and Lake Charles. Additionally, Rain CII committed to make a capital investment of $65 million over the next five years across its Louisiana manufacturing, research and logistics facilities.
Gov. Jindal said, “Few projects demonstrate Louisiana’s extraordinary progress and resilience since Hurricane Katrina like this Rain CII relocation project. Here is a company that was originally headquartered in the New Orleans area that is returning home – not simply because its roots are here, but because Louisiana now offers an outstanding business climate, a great workforce and a world-class infrastructure for business investment. Today, New Orleans and our entire state are thriving, and we make a winning case for corporate headquarter relocations, high-performing manufacturing wins and technology projects. Most importantly, Rain CII’s return home to Louisiana will mean outstanding career opportunities for Louisianians for years to come.”
Rain CII takes green petroleum coke, a byproduct of petroleum refining, and produces calcined pet-coke, or CPC. The combustion process that produces CPC also captures thermal energy to generate steam and electric power. In addition to aluminum, CPC is an essential element in making titanium dioxide, a key component of paint pigments, and in other industrial applications, such as steel recycling.
“Greater New Orleans is the historic home of our company, and a natural location for our headquarters,” Sweeney said. “With four plants in Louisiana, it affords the best blend of proximity to our operations, quality of life for employees, and exposure to the cultural events of a larger city. We are thankful for the support and partnership of the State of Louisiana in helping make this return a reality.”
Rain CII has made significant capital investments in Louisiana since 2010, investing more than $100 million on projects across the state to equip its operations for the long term. Among those investments is an energy co-generation facility completed earlier this year in Lake Charles, where 15 jobs were added to support the company’s new power plant.
To secure the project, the state offered Rain CII a competitive incentive package that includes a $3.6 million performance-based grant, to be paid in four annual installments, for offsetting headquarters relocation costs. Rain CII will be eligible for a $2 million Modernization Tax Credit, to be claimed over five years, after making the $65 million plant capital investment. The company also will receive the services of LED FastStart® – the nation’s No. 1-ranked state workforce development program – and Rain CII is expected to utilize Louisiana’s Industrial Tax Exemption and Quality Jobs programs.
Construction will begin in the first quarter of 2014 on Rain CII’s new corporate headquarters in Louisiana. The approximately 40,000-square-foot, Class A office space will be built on a nearly 3-acre site in the Northpark Business Park on U.S. Highway 190. Formal operations will begin at the Covington headquarters in the final quarter of 2014, and the company will begin hiring in early 2014.
“The strength of St. Tammany’s economy and the business-friendly environment is what attracts companies like Rain CII to our parish,” St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister said. “We will continue to grow and become the South’s destination for start-up entrepreneurs and corporate relocations. Because of our well-educated workforce, family-centric culture and unparalleled lifestyle, we continue to be the perfect platform for companies to launch new enterprises. We are extremely proud to have Rain CII call St. Tammany Parish home, and we wholeheartedly welcome them.”
“We welcome Rain CII’s return to Louisiana, and we are honored they have chosen St. Tammany Parish for their corporate headquarters,” said CEO Brenda Bertus of the St. Tammany Economic Development Foundation. “As always, we are ready to assist Rain CII and its employees as they join our community and embrace our quality of life.”
“Rain CII’s return to Greater New Orleans is a double-win for Louisiana,” said President and CEO Michael Hecht of Greater New Orleans Inc. “First, it means over 70 high-quality new jobs for the community. But moreover, Rain CII’s return to the region heralds a broader, deeply important trend – the best people and companies are coming home to Greater New Orleans.”