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DENHAM SPRINGS, La. – Bercen, a division of specialty ingredients manufacturer Vertellus, is announcing a $17.5 million expansion of its Denham Springs facility that will allow the company to retain 55 jobs and create eight new jobs with an average annual salary of $75,000 plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the expansion will result in 23 indirect jobs, for a total of 31 new jobs in Louisiana’s Capital Region.

The Denham Springs facility produces specialized client solutions for paper packaging, fuel and lubricants, coatings and industrial applications.

“Time and again, companies are reinvesting in Louisiana manufacturing facilities, proving that our state has the workforce, business climate and transportation logistics for these critical supply-chain companies to thrive,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “Bercen’s commitment to retain existing jobs and add good-paying jobs at its Denham Springs facility is a credit to the skilled advanced manufacturing workforce in Livingston Parish. We appreciate the company’s recognition of our state’s business advantages and look forward to the economic activity this investment will stimulate in the Capital Region.”

The company plans to begin expanding its facility in August, with completion expected by the end of the year. Hiring for the new positions has begun, and full commercial operations at the expanded facility are anticipated to start in Q1 of 2023.

“Louisiana’s support of manufacturing businesses like ours makes it a desirable place to invest,” Vertellus Vice President and General Manager Jim Elliott said. “The local leadership in Livingston Parish has given more than 60 years of continuous support to the site. The chemical manufacturing industry relies on Louisiana just as Bercen relies on the skilled workforce and local collegiate talent from the region.”

The company plans to make infrastructure and equipment upgrades to increase production capacity and upgrade the environmental management capabilities for its site.

“In the past two years, businesses have faced tough challenges and worker shortages, so it is great to learn that Bercen has plans to improve and expand its business capabilities as well as its workforce, adding eight new jobs locally,” said Livingston Parish President Layton Ricks. “Bercen has met and exceeded its productivity estimates since locating to Livingston Parish, and I am excited that this trend is continuing.”

To secure the expansion at the Denham Springs facility, the State of Louisiana provided Bercen with a competitive incentive package that includes $250,000 from the Economic Development Award program. The Vertellus company is also expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.

“We are pleased that Bercen has made the decision to expand their Livingston Parish operation with a significant capital investment and commitment to bring more high-paying jobs to the local community,” Livingston Economic Development Council President and CEO David Bennett said. “In a time when many businesses are struggling, it’s nice to celebrate a company that is willing and able to make the necessary investment to capture a new market opportunity.”

“Vertellus has found the talent, infrastructure and support from the state and local level to succeed,” said Adam Knapp, President, and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. “We join our partners in Livingston to celebrate this exciting growth in our Capital Region.”