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Halliburton to Build a $65M Plant in Parish

The Lafayette Daily Advertiser Online

Halliburton to build $65M plant in parish
2:27 AM, Apr. 6, 2011

Halliburton, one of the world's largest oilfield services companies, plans to locate a new, $65 million manufacturing plant in Lafayette, Gov. Bobby Jindal said.

The 200,000-square-foot facility, which goes under construction in July, is expected to create 150 new jobs with an annual payroll of more than $8 million, as well as benefits.

"The kind of high-tech, high-paying jobs that we are bringing to this area would, if you want to make a comparison, would not be out of place in the aerospace industry," Halliburton Senior Vice President Marc Edwards said, who joined Jindal at the offices of the Lafayette Economic Development Authority where the announcement was made Tuesday.

Halliburton's facility on Pont des Mouton Road on the city's north side, which is projected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2012, will produce mechanical components with state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment. That includes numeric-controlled turning and milling equipment and additional services, such as heat treatment, coating and other specialty operations, Jindal said.

The facility will also have assembling operations and product testing operations that will be performed before components are shipped to oil and gas producers around the world, he added.
When Edwards was asked what kind of products and components would be created, he said he didn't want to give details for fear of tipping off Halliburton's competition.

In addition to the jobs at the Halliburton plant, LEDA estimates that another 357 new jobs will come about indirectly - generating nearly
$4.4 million in local tax revenue during the next 10 years.

Edwards said that because the company operates globally, it could have located the facility in any one of a number of places, including Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Mississippi, or abroad in Brazil, Europe or West Africa. Yet it chose Lafayette because of its oil and gas culture, strong workforce and economy, access to major transportation zones.

LEDA President and CEO Gregg Gothreaux said it's been involved in luring the project to Lafayette for eight months.

To stir the pot, the state Economic Development agency offered a package of incentives including a performance-based grant of $2 million for site acquisition and infrastructure improvements from the Louisiana Rapid Response Fund, along with workforce training via the FastStart program. Halliburton will also take advantage of the state's Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.

According to LED Secretary Stephen Moret, the performance-based grant funding would be made available to the company on the basis of reimbursements for eligible expenditures "as soon as the incentive contract is fully executed."

Veteran petroleum executive Paul Hilliard, president and CEO of Badger Oil Corp., hailed the Halliburton news as a coup for Lafayette.

"This is good in several ways," Hilliard said. "It has a global impact because their customers are around the world. That they're not just in Louisiana and the U.S. makes a big difference because it adds to their stability.

"The demand for oil and gas is increasing and it will continue to increase as economies increase worldwide."

Furthermore, oil and gas service companies, particularly those on the scale of Halliburton, are more financially secure than exploration and production companies because they supply them.

"For every one business like mine that's in oil and gas exploration, there are 100 different service and supply companies," he said. "If we go out and drill a dry hole, we've lost money, but Halliburton gets paid for their services whether our hole produces or is dry."

Houston-based Halliburton is a publicly traded company whose shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol HAL.