BUNKIE — Gulf Coast Spinning Co. LLC plans to invest $130 million in a new cotton spinning facility in Bunkie in central Louisiana, with construction beginning in mid-2014.
The announcement was made Thursday by CEO Dan Feibus and Gov. Bobby Jindal.
The plant is the second phase of a project that included the opening of a Zagis USA spinning facility that employs 79 people in Jefferson Davis Parish. The Zagis mill in Lacassine represented a cost of $20 million.
The Bunkie mill will create 307 new direct jobs averaging more than $30,100 per year, plus benefits, the state’s economic development department said.
At 500,000 square feet, the Bunkie cotton spinning mill will be about four times the size of the first plant. The company targets hiring more than 200 employees by the end of 2015 and reaching full employment of 307 people in 2016.
Gulf Coast Spinning expects to ship most of its cotton yarn overseas similar to the Zagis mill, where 85 percent of the spun yarn is exported. When both mills are running, the facilities will tap about 15 percent to 20 percent of Louisiana’s total cotton crop.
Including the new facility to be built on 43.5 acres at the Bunkie Industrial Park, the two mills will represent a combined capital investment of approximately $150 million — or twice the originally announced investment.
“The Zagis project in Lacassine has shown the value of Louisiana’s cotton resources and our ability to add tremendous value to those resources through agribusiness investments,” Jindal said.
To secure Zagis and the Bunkie project, the state offered an incentive package that includes a portion of a $2.4 million Economic Development Loan Program award given to Zagis for the original project. The loan will be forgiven upon Zagis USA and Gulf Coast Spinning achieving their respective payroll targets. In addition, the Bunkie project will get assistance from the state’s workforce training program. Gulf Coast Spinning also is expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.