GONZALES — The Ascension Parish Council on Thursday approved revising an incentive proposal for a proposed $300 million chemical facility set to locate in the parish.
Canadian mineral development company Avalon Rare Metals Inc. announced last month its intention to build a 150-acre rare earth elements separation refinery in Geismar. Construction of the facility would depend on a final investment decision by Avalon in 2013.
The project, formerly referred to as “Project Oriole” by parish officials, is estimated to create 175 new direct, full-time jobs with a projected annual payroll of $13.1 million, according to Ascension Economic Development Corp. information.
The project also would produce another 400 temporary construction jobs, with a combined two-year payroll of $47 million, the economic development corporation predicts.
During a 10-year period, the plan would generate $9 million in revenues for parish government entities that receive sales and property taxes.
Thursday’s 8-0 vote lowers a previously approved 45 percent sales tax rebate figure from $1.3 million to $809,000.
Mike Eades, president of Ascension Parish’s economic development arm, said the reduction comes from lower engineering costs and a change in proposed capital expenditures.
“There are products in the Geismar area that are needed to operate their business,” Eades said. “Instead of having to make that capital investment themselves, they’ll be taking those items via pipeline.”
Parish President Tommy Martinez said a final vote on the parish’s part of the project should come at the council’s first meeting in October.