As the country faces a national chlorine shortage stemming from damage to a BioLab plant in Louisiana during Hurricane Laura in 2020, the company said it intends to invest $170 million in a new chlorine production site in Westlake, LA, Jeff Schmitt, the COO of BioLab’s parent company KIK Consumer Products and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced in a release Wednesday.
“Last year, our state faced many unprecedented challenges from which we are still recovering, but today’s announcement is a testament to the fortitude, determination, and resilience of our people and our business climate,” Gov. Edwards said in a statement. “Hurricane Laura pushed Southwest Louisiana to its heels, but the people of this region have shown strength throughout its long and storied history. We welcome BioLab’s reinvestment in Westlake; we are grateful for their support in helping this region come back stronger.”
A major part of BioLab’s first chlorine plant in Westlake, opened in 1979, was destroyed during the hurricane. The firm’s new facility will manufacture trichloroisocyanuric acid (TCCA), a chlorine-based sanitizer used in pools and water treatment.
“We are proud to bring a new state-of-the-art facility to Westlake, to bring back great opportunities for our people, and deliver the pool cleaning products that are in high demand,” said Schmitt in the release. “For anyone in any manufacturing industry, Hurricane Laura was the level of disaster you plan for and pray never happens. But if it does, you want your team to respond exactly the way ours did. They worked to secure the site and then get it ready to bring us back better than we were before.”
82 new jobs will be created as a result of the project and the company will retain 19 existing positions from the destroyed facility. BioLab expects work to reach completion in 2022.