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Halliburton Picks Lafayette

The Advocate Online www.2theadvocate.com

Halliburton picks Lafayette
Jindal: 500 jobs to be created
By MARSHA SILLS

LAFAYETTE - More than 500 new jobs will be created in Lafayette as part of Halliburton's plan to build a $65 million manufacturing facility, Gov. Bobby Jindal announced Tuesday.

The global oilfield services company's new facility translates to at least 150 new direct jobs and the potential for an additional 357 indirect jobs, Jindal said.

"Halliburton's decision to come here is yet another example that we can compete nationally and internationally," Jindal said.

Lafayette competed with states such as Texas and Oklahoma and sites in Europe, West Africa, Brazil and Asia, said Marc Edwards, senior vice president of Halliburton's completion and production division.

The facility site - proposed for Pont des Mouton Road - appealed to the company because of its proximity to Interstates 10 and 49, and because of state and local support, Edwards said.

The plant will produce complex machinery components used for hydrocarbon extraction with technologies similar to those used in the aerospace industry, Edwards said.

Construction on the 200,000 square foot facility is set to begin in July, which will produce 250 construction jobs, Jindal said.

Collaboration among Louisiana Economic Development, the Lafayette Economic Development Authority and parish government made the decision easier, he added.

"The culture here is very business friendly," Edwards said. "They understand what it takes to compete on the global level."

Jindal said the company received an incentive package that included a $2 million performance-based grant from the Louisiana Rapid Response Fund and work-force training support from another state program.

As part of the state's incentive package, the company is also eligible for a rebate on new payroll expenses and certain sales taxes and property tax abatement, according to a news release from Halliburton.

Jindal said it is estimated it will generate nearly $4.4 million in local tax revenues over the next 10 years.

Edwards described the available jobs as "high-tech" and "high-paid."

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is another asset because it "produces quality people," he said. "The work force is already experienced."

The Lafayette area is home to more than 900 oil-and-gas related businesses, stated Gregg Gothreaux, LEDA president and chief executive officer in a news release.

"Our community provides an industry-savvy environment and a work force that is highly skilled, making Lafayette very attractive to energy companies," he said.

The nearly 40-acre site is located in the 700 block of West Pont des Mouton Road and is adjacent to the Northpark High Technology Industrial Center.

The property's owner, Larry Leger of LL Investment Properties in Carencro, had requested that the site be rezoned from general business to light industry to sell it for the development, according to city-parish zoning records.

The Lafayette Consolidated Council approved the rezoning request at its meeting Tuesday - hours after the Halliburton announcement.

Currently, Halliburton employs 2,800 people in Louisiana and has corporate offices in Lafayette. Globally, it employs a total of 60,000 people in 80 countries and last year, reported $18 billion in revenue, according to its website.

Link: http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/Halliburton-picks-Lafayette-.html?showAll=y&c=y