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TCI Plastics investing $36 million to increase resin exports from New Orleans

By: Frank Esposito

April 29, 2014

TCI Plastics will spend $36.5 million to increase resin warehousing capacity and add plastic film production in New Orleans. The project is expected to create 340 permanent jobs.

Plans call for construction of a new 500,000 square-foot building that will allow New Orleans-based TCI to increase the amount of PVC and polyethylene resin it can export. The new structure also will allow TCI to make its own film that will be used to package this resin.

“TCI is ready to play its part in the value-added supply chain needed to keep Louisiana petrochemicals moving through Louisiana ports,” CEO Jack Jensen said in an April 28 news release.

The expansion is part of TCI’s development of a “mega-plastics district” along an inner harbor cargo site between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain. TCI built a 150,000 square-foot building for resin exports there in 2010. The firm also has leased more than 150,000 square feet of warehouse space in New Orleans to handle growing demand for exported resin.

Numerous resin expansion projects — mainly for PE — have been announced for Louisiana and Texas as a result of low-priced natural gas becoming increasingly available as a feedstock throughout North America.

As part of the expansion, TCI will spend $3.1 million to buy 32 acres of land from the Port of New Orleans. That parcel is near the firm’s existing property. In addition to 160 jobs at TCI, the expansion is expected to create about 180 indirect jobs in the area.

Construction for the new building will begin in mid-2014 and is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2016. Fifty of the 160 new TCI jobs should be in place by 2015. In the release, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said that his state “is encouraging the expansion of major logistics facilities.”

TCI is part of Jensen Companies, a New Orleans-based group of several firms owned by Jensen that are focused on transportation, distribution and logistics.