Industrial Boom Driving Louisiana’s Ascension Parish

September 8, 2014

More than 2,000 construction workers are building a $2.1 billion expansion of CF Industries’ nitrogen complex in Louisiana’s Ascension Parish.

The 100-acre addition to the nation’s largest nitrogen plant is expected to be completed in 2016. More than 17,000 pilings have been driven into the ground to support the foundations of three production units planned in the former cane field off Louisiana Highway 70 near Donaldsonville.

A temporary concrete plant also has been set up on-site as more than 60,000 cubic yards of concrete have been poured and the first 1,800 tons of steel have been erected, CF officials said.

The project is the largest among several underway and fueling robust sales tax growth in Ascension over the past two years, parish officials told The Advocate.

As a result, Ascension’s taxing jurisdictions took in record combined sales tax revenue in 2013 estimated at $147.2 million.

The total dwarfs the 2012 collection of $118.5 million, and lower totals in previous years when the economy was reeling from the 2008-09 slump.

Ascension officials believe 2014 sales tax collections will set another record.

“We anticipate collecting more sales taxes this year than last, which was our banner year — at least as much if not more,” said Gwen LeBlanc, parish government’s chief financial officer.

Parish figures show sales tax collections through July totaled $90.2 million, up 3.2 percent from the same period of 2013.

The increase means $2.8 million more in sales tax collections spread across all local governments.

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