Bio-Lab to rebuild chemical plant in 2022
This June, Gov. John Bel Edwards and KIK consumer products COO Jeff Schmitt announced that the company’s Bio-Lab division will make a $170 million investment to build a new chlorine products facility in Westlake, Louisiana. The new facility will be built on the site of its previous facility that was damaged by a fire as a result of Hurricane Laura in 2020.
Bio-Lab is a leading company in the recreational water treatment industry, and is a leading supplier of pool and spa treatment products in North America and international markets.
The company’s first manufacturing facility was built in 1979, but a major component of the manufacturing facility was destroyed during Hurricane Laura.
The new facility will replace the old manufacturing plant and restore the jobs lost from its destruction — the completion date is slated for 2022.
“Last year, our state faced many unprecedented challenges from which we are still recovering, but today’s announcement is a testament to the fortitude, determination and resilience of our people and our business climate,” said Gov. Edwards. “Hurricane Laura pushed Southwest Louisiana to its heels, but the people of this region have shown strength throughout its long and storied history. We welcome Bio-Lab’s reinvestment in Westlake; we are grateful for their support in helping this region come back stronger.”
The new facility will produce trichloroisocyanuric acid, or trichlor, the most commonly used water sanitation chemical on the market. Featuring stateof- the-art equipment, the new facility will have improved output compared to the previous facility, with a significant increase in production capacity.
“We are proud to bring a new state-ofthe- art facility to Westlake, to bring back great opportunities for our people, and deliver the pool cleaning products that are in high demand,” said Schmitt. “For anyone in any manufacturing industry, Hurricane Laura was the level of disaster you plan for and pray never happens. But if it does, you want your team to respond exactly the way ours did. They worked to secure the site and then got it ready to bring us back better than we were before.”
The company is expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
“Continued investment in our community by an established community leader here in Calcasieu is a sign of resiliency and recovery,” said Brian Abshire, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury President. “On behalf of the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, I want to thank Bio-Lab, and KIK Custom Products, for significantly reinvesting in our community to deliver quality products that positively impact not just the local, but the national consumer.'
“We are very pleased that Bio-Lab is rebuilding their facility here in Southwest Louisiana,” said George Swift, President and CEO, Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. “This will result in more than 80 direct jobs and about 200 indirect jobs. While this plant has been closed, a shortage has developed of many household products and swimming pool chemicals. The scarcity of these products from this facility received national attention. Many across the nation will welcome a new Bio-Lab plant.”