Dongsung FineTec Announces 250-Job Cyrogenic Manufacturing Facility In Calcasieu Parish

LAKE CHARLES, La. — Today, Gov. Bobby Jindal and Senior Vice President James Choi of Dongsung FineTec Co. Ltd. announced the company will create 250 new direct jobs and make a $5 million capital investment in a cryogenic insulation manufacturing facility in Lake Charles. Based in South Korea, Dongsung FineTec provides specialized high-performance insulation to liquefied natural gas plants and other industrial sites around the world. 

The company will create 250 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of $40,000, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 492 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 742 new jobs for Calcasieu Parish and surrounding areas. The project also is expected to generate an additional 20 construction jobs.

The company will lease an 11-acre site at the Port of Lake Charles’ Industrial Park East for its manufacturing complex. The site includes the former Spartech plastics compounding plant. The 59,000-square-foot building will be renovated for specialized insulation production.

Gov. Jindal said, “We have seen several multibillion-dollar investment announcements in Southwest Louisiana with the region’s development as an international center for liquefied natural gas exports. Building on that foundation, this project represents the next tier of success – major investments by support industries that will help the LNG industry reach its full potential here. Dongsung FineTec and companies like them are being drawn to Louisiana by our world-class energy infrastructure, skilled workforce and strong business climate, and these attributes will continue to encourage major investments in Louisiana as we continue to grow. As a result, our state will be well-positioned as a leader to meet global energy needs for decades to come, while continuing to create great jobs for Louisiana families.”

Founded in 1985, Dongsung FineTec is based in Seoul, South Korea. The Lake Charles project is the company’s first manufacturing investment in the U.S., with the site expected to be fully operational by May 2016. Dongsung FineTec is the world’s largest maker of cryogenic insulation for the LNG industry. Its cryogenic insulation panels are designed to keep liquefied natural gas cold at minus-163 degrees Celsius to facilitate storage and transport. The company also manufactures urethane foam insulation storage tanks and other insulation products for industrial applications. Dongsung FineTec has developed fuel tank and insulation solutions for smaller and midscale LNG operations as well as large-scale plants.

“We are very excited to be expanding our activities to the U.S.,” Choi said. “The help and assistance of the Port of Lake Charles has been central to our decision. Clearly, the U.S. and Southwest Louisiana are becoming significant players in the LNG industry. We have made a commitment to continue supporting our existing international customers here in the United States. We feel confident that our world-class insulation technology can add value to all manner of projects within the U.S. We feel the market, even in these times of low oil prices, has a bright future in relation to the developing natural gas industry. Through technology-transfer and providing local long-term opportunities for residents in Lake Charles, we will be able to offer a positive long-term impression on the community. Our plans are for the long-term broader U.S. and Americas markets. We are not specific project-driven: We are here for the long haul.”

LED began discussing a potential project with the company in February 2015. To secure the project, the state offered a competitive incentive package that includes the comprehensive solutions of LED FastStart®, the top-ranked state workforce development program in the nation. The company also is expected to utilize Louisiana’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.  

“The LNG facilities planned for our region will not only generate jobs for the area, they will also stimulate additional investment in the region,” Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach said. “Dongsung FineTec’s Lake Charles-based manufacturing site is a great example of this economic principle at work. Cryogenic insulation is a critical staple for LNG export facilities. FineTec’s new facility will provide these LNG companies with the product they need in the construction of their state-of-the-art facilities. We are very pleased that they’re planning to locate their national headquarters here.”

The company will lease an 11-acre site at the Port of Lake Charles’ Industrial Park East for its manufacturing complex. The site includes the former Spartech plastics compounding plant. The 59,000-square-foot building will be renovated for specialized insulation production.

Dongsung FineTec’s selection of the Port of Lake Charles for its manufacturing site “demonstrates the tremendous spin-off positive impacts of the Calcasieu Ship Channel and the many new and existing industries and businesses dependent upon the channel for jobs and growth in the region,” port Executive Director William R. “Bill” Rase III said.

The region’s dynamic natural gas liquefaction and export industry will provide a significant customer base for the company. Ten major LNG projects are in the works for the Southwest Region, including Magnolia LNG, Lake Charles LNG and Live Oak LNG in Calcasieu Parish and Cheniere Energy, Cameron LNG, Venture Global, SCT&E LNG, G2 LNG, Commonwealth LNG and Delphin LNG in Cameron Parish. Dongsung FineTec also expects to serve facilities in other Gulf Coast states.

“Dongsung FineTec’s announcement brings a unique product and industry to the U.S.,” said David Conner, vice president of economic development and international services for the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. “Its choice to locate in Southwest Louisiana proves again that we can compete with any area of the world for major manufacturing projects. We believe that Dongsung’s specialized cryogenic process will cater to the facilities and ships that produce and transport liquefied natural gas to global markets.” 

About Dongsung FineTec
Dongsung FineTec has been a worldwide leader in the field of cryogenic insulation materials since 1994. The company specializes in hot, cryogenic and acoustic insulation, as well as personnel protection. Based in South Korea, it is entering the U.S. market as Dongsung FineTec America LLC.

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