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Japanese chemical company UBE Corporation announced it will invest $500 million to establish the first U.S. manufacturing facility for EV battery ingredients

LED: Louisiana Economic Development
Louisiana Economic Development

JEFFERSON PARISH, La. – Japanese chemical company UBE Corporation announced it will invest $500 million to establish the first U.S. manufacturing facility for key electric vehicle (EV) Lithium Ion Battery (LiB) ingredients dimethyl carbonate (DMC) and ethyl methyl carbonate (EMC). The project, which is intended to bolster the domestic battery components supply chain by reducing the current heavy reliance on Chinese imports, will be located at Cornerstone Energy Park (CEP) in Jefferson Parish.

A newly formed company known as UBE C1 Chemicals America, Inc. (UCCA), expects to create nine direct new jobs for UCCA, and 47 direct new jobs for Cornerstone Chemical Company, LLC, in support of UBE operations that will transition to UCCA over time. UBE estimates the project will also result in approximately 300 construction jobs at the peak of construction.

“This $500 million investment reinforces Louisiana’s leadership in the electric vehicle battery components supply chain, and is another win for southeast Louisiana’s manufacturing workforce, which is second to none,” LED Secretary Susan Bonnett Bourgeois said. “This decision by UBE Corporation is a vote of confidence from the global marketplace in Louisiana’s strategic location, rich natural resources and skilled workers.”

DMC and EMC are used to produce the electrolyte in lithium-ion batteries that contributes to extended battery life and increased driving range for electric vehicles. DMC is also a key ingredient in certain semiconductor manufacturing processes.

“UBE’s proprietary nitrite process, which we have been developing since the 1970s, enables us to realize a very limited environmental impact and much fewer by-products compared to other existing plants and processes, particularly in mainland China,” said Masato Izumihara, president and representative director of UBE. “This manufacturing facility will be UBE’s first large-scale chemical facility in the United States and CEP offers not only a strategic location, but Cornerstone Chemical Company, LLC, also offers raw materials needed for manufacturing, an abundant labor force and competitive logistic capabilities.”

UBE estimates its new facility will be capable of producing 100,000 metric tons of DMC per year and 40,000 metric tons of EMC, derived from DMC, annually. The company expects construction to begin before the end of the year, pending all necessary permit approvals. Construction is scheduled for completion in mid-2026 with operations to begin in late 2026.

To secure the project, the state of Louisiana offered a competitive incentives package that includes the comprehensive workforce development solutions of LED FastStart. The company is also expected to participate in Louisiana’s Industrial Tax Exemption and Quality Jobs programs.

“This project directly aligns with JEDCO’s efforts to generate quality jobs, investment and opportunities within the environmental and engineering industry,” said JEDCO President and CEO Jerry Bologna. “UBE’s investment in our community signals that Jefferson Parish can be a key player in this global industry. We are proud to support UBE’s project in Jefferson Parish and look forward to the significant economic impact it will have on our community.”

“It is an honor to welcome such a well-respected, multi-generational Japanese company to Jefferson Parish,” said Michael Hecht, president and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. “UBE’s new facility furthers Louisiana’s emergence as a leading location for future energy projects by establishing the first electric vehicle battery supply chain project in the Southeast Region. UBE’s operations will also bolster national security efforts by serving as the only U.S. site to provide these critical elements of the country’s energy supply chain.”