(STL.News) – Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards and Highway Transport President and Chief Financial Officer Marshall Franklin highlighted the opening of the company’s $12.5 million flagship service center in Geismar, Louisiana. The new facility will serve as the training center for all Highway Transport employees in Louisiana and Texas. Additionally, the site includes a service center, 4.5 bays for tank washing, a six-bay mechanical shop, multiple office spaces and more.
The project will create 36 new direct jobs over the next year, with an average annual salary of $55,000, plus benefits. The company also is retaining 34 existing jobs in Geismar. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 76 new indirect jobs, for a total of 112 new jobs in the Capital Region. In generating over 110 construction jobs, the project lays the foundation for Highway Transport to increase its employment of permanent jobs to 150 over the next decade at its Gulf Coast regional hub in Geismar.
“I am proud to share in the celebration of welcoming Highway Transport’s flagship service center to Geismar,” said Gov. Edwards. “As a key service provider to process chemical manufacturers in our state, this is the sort of investment that can only take place if our economy remains poised for continued growth and new economic wins. Highway Transport’s new facility signals that Louisiana is a key market for major bulk transportation of specialty chemicals, and we look forward to the company’s continued growth and success in our state.”
The new service center builds on Highway Transport’s presence along the Gulf Coast, positioning the chemical transportation company to serve nearby chemical companies along the Mississippi River and to safely transport their products throughout the country. From the Geismar site, Highway Transport staff will coordinate logistics, technology, cleaning processes and other critical operations on-site. The site can facilitate up to 150 tanker trucks at any given time from the company’s fleet of more than 400 trucks on regional and long-haul loads.
“The growth of our Highway Transport family in Louisiana marks an important milestone for our company as we continue to focus on expanding in this region,” Franklin said. “By adding a service center in Geismar, we are better-positioned to serve companies in the state’s chemical corridor and beyond. We remain committed to providing award-winning safety and service to our customers, as well as the Geismar community, which is reflected by the environmental safety measures we took in building the facility and setting up our safety and cleaning protocols on-site.”
Highway Transport provides liquid chemical transportation and petroleum and biofuels transportation services. The new Geismar facility is the company’s 14th service center in the U.S. and opens after a yearlong, multiphase project. As the company’s training center for the Gulf Coast, professional drivers joining the company will onboard with instruction on Highway Transport’s industry-leading safety protocols that earned the company the Responsible Care Partner of the Year recognition in 2019. Highway Transport also operates a service center in Lake Charles.
“We are grateful that Highway Transport chose to invest in Ascension Parish and commit to making Geismar a long-term home by building their state-of-the-art facility and training center here,” said President and CEO Kate MacArthur of the Ascension Economic Development Corporation. “They are an asset to our community and provide critical logistics services to our businesses and excellent jobs for our residents.”
To secure the project, the State of Louisiana offered the company incentive support that includes the Enterprise Zone Program.
“Highway Transport’s continued investment in the heart of the Capital Region’s petrochemical sector speaks to the strength of the industry and its importance to continued economic prosperity,” said President and CEO Adam Knapp of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. “Our team was happy to assist our partners at AEDC and LED in supporting this project through our business retention and expansion program, and we look forward to future partnerships.”