Koura Proposes $800 Million Investment in Two EV Battery Supply Chain Projects in Iberville Parish
Orbia’s Fluorinated Solutions business, Koura, announced it is exploring two expansion projects at its Iberville Parish that would support America’s lithium-ion battery production supply chain, enabling domestic production of 1.7 million electric vehicles annually.
The first proposed project is the construction of a $400 million world-scale manufacturing facility that would produce LiPF6, a component that allows for the flow of electricity through lithium-ion batteries. This facility would be the first of its kind in the U.S. and Koura estimates it would produce 10,000 metric tons of LiPF6 per year.
The company has also proposed an additional $400 million investment to build a second new production plant that would have the potential to manufacture 40,000 metric tons of R-142b annually. R-142b is a primary building block in polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), a critical binding agent for lithium-ion battery production.
“Koura’s proposed expansion is a prime example of how supporting clean energy and emission reduction projects can benefit our state’s established petrochemical sector and drive economic growth,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “If these projects come to fruition, Louisiana will play a key role in bolstering the U.S. EV battery supply chain while also providing high-paying job opportunities for our skilled workforce for years to come.”
If the projects move forward as outlined, Koura expects to create 100 direct new jobs across the two projects with an average annual salary of $80,000, while retaining 80 current positions. It also anticipates the creation of more than 2,000 construction jobs at peak construction of both facilities. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the projects would result in a combined 283 indirect new jobs for a total of 383 new jobs in the Capital Region.
“Expanding our strategically located site in St. Gabriel will provide new opportunities in U.S. energy security while safeguarding existing jobs. Our commitment to advancing life around the world means working toward a clean future to meet modern needs for resilience and energy independence, in Louisiana and around the world.”
Koura’s St. Gabriel facility has been in operation since 1991 and currently produces R-134a refrigerant. These new facilities would support the company as it aims to expand domestic manufacturing of EV and electrical grid batteries and shift production of their materials and components to the U.S.
The company anticipates a final investment decision on both projects in the coming months. It expects construction of both new facilities to begin in 2025 and begin commencing operations in 2026.