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Belgium Company Picks a Bayou State Location:
KATOEN NATIE USA ANNOUNCES $150 MILLION BATON ROUGE AREA PETROCHEMICAL STORAGE AND PROCESSING FACILITY
Company will develop 2 million-square-foot complex, resulting in 210 new direct jobs and 516 new indirect jobs
BATON ROUGE, La. — Gov. Bobby Jindal and Frank Vingerhoets, Katoen Natie's president of petrochemicals in North America, announced March 6th that Katoen Natie USA will invest $150 million to build a plastics storage, custom packaging and distribution facility for producers of petrochemical products in Baton Rouge. The logistics platform will create 210 new direct jobs. LED estimates the project will also result in 516 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 700 new permanent jobs. Another 150 construction jobs will be created during the building phase.
Gov. Jindal said, "Katoen Natie's decision to build in Louisiana is part of the renaissance that our chemical and energy industries are experiencing today. The company said key factors in their decision to invest in Louisiana included easy access to railroads, as well as our experienced chemical industry workforce. Indeed, today Louisiana is a leader in petrochemical and specialty chemical products because of our strong business climate, infrastructure, natural resources and incomparable workforce.
We've experienced this economic growth because we have world-class infrastructure like railways that make Louisiana attractive to companies who want to invest and create jobs. We're blessed to be right on the banks of the Mississippi River, a resource that's helped Louisianians transport chemical and energy products for generations. We are also surrounded by some of the greatest petrochemical, industrial and natural resources in the nation. And Louisiana's incomparable workforce is another driving force for our tremendous economic growth and helps keep Louisiana at the forefront of the chemical and energy industries. Their world-class skills help us produce, process, package and deliver vital natural resources and chemical products to markets all over the world. The bottom line is that all of these incredible assets make Louisiana a prime location for economic growth and opportunity."
The logistics complex – including polymer terminals, warehousing and distribution facilities – will support local petrochemical and specialty chemical producers in the Capital Region. The Katoen Natie facility will offer a variety of processing, handling, storage and value-added services to these producers, and will distribute to both domestic and international customers. Situated on 127 acres on Scenic Highway north of Baton Rouge, the 2 million-square-foot indoor storage complex is being designed with an extensive rail yard by CRA Engineering Group of Baton Rouge.
Katoen Natie's plans include developing tie-ins to rail assets served by Kansas City Southern Railway and Canadian National Railroad, potentially becoming one of the few facilities of its kind with dual railway access.
"We are excited about the new project that will expand our U.S. and global network," Vingerhoets said. "This state-of-the-art facility will help absorb the increasing production capacity of our customers, which is in relation to the shale gas growth in the U.S. The cooperation with the local authorities has been great, and their efforts have contributed to our decision to invest in the Baton Rouge area."
Katoen Natie NV is headquartered in Antwerp, Belgium, with U.S. operations headquartered in Houston. The company operates facilities in 28 countries, including six facilities in locations across the United States: Carson, Calif.; Edison, N.J.; Gary, Ind.; Houston; and Orange, Texas. Katoen Natie also operates a facility in Port Allen, La., and employs 20 people there who support current petrochemical storage efforts.
The state began working with Katoen Natie on the new project in February 2012. The company is expected to utilize Louisiana's Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption incentives, as well as the services of LED FastStart® – the top-ranked state workforce development program in the nation.
"BRAC identified Katoen Natie as a potential project for the Baton Rouge area through our lead generation program," said BRAC President and CEO Adam Knapp. "From there, our team worked with LED and the City of Baton Rouge to show the company why the Capital Region was the best place for this business. The addition of Katoen Natie to our region will provide a valuable service to the chemicals and new energy production sector, further strengthening this sector, one of our recently identified target industries."
The first phase of the project is expected to begin in early 2013, and will include construction of the first 600,000 square feet of storage space, all of the rail lines servicing the facility, half of the available rail yard, all rail tie-ins, and the construction of a 6-acre detention pond. The company expects to complete the first phase by the end of 2013, with hiring for the new facility beginning this summer. Katoen Natie expects to complete the entire facility by 2018.
"The addition of Katoen Natie to Baton Rouge will strength our ability to meet the needs of our existing businesses and help us recruit new ones," Baton Rouge Mayor-President Melvin "Kip" Holden said. "We eagerly welcome the company to our city."
DTZ Global Occupancy Costs – Offices Survey
Contrasting fortunes in US and North Asia enliven flat occupier market
- Average global occupancy costs increase by just 1% to US$7,495 per workstation during 2012
- Mixed fortunes for occupiers globally – Beijing costs up 17.7%, while all US cities see reduction
- London West End becomes the world's most expensive business district at US$23,500 per workstation
- Secondary office space costs rose faster than prime due to demand from cost-conscious occupiers
LONDON: DTZ, a UGL company released its annual 'Global Occupancy Costs - Offices' (GOCO) survey on March 7th, revealing that the cost for companies to provide office space for their workers in North Asia increased by 6.3% during 2012, outstripping the global average increase of 1%. The sixteenth annual GOCO report highlights significant regional differences – while some markets saw sustained growth, others such as the US experienced weaker levels of demand due to economic and political uncertainty.
DTZ's report analyses the main components of occupancy costs per workstation across 126 business districts in 49 countries across the globe, ranking each location based on costs per workstation per annum. It includes rents and outgoings, such as maintenance costs and property tax, and takes into account variability of space utilisation standards by measuring costs on a per workstation basis rather than just per square metre.
The United States offered occupiers the greatest opportunities to reduce their overheads in 2012, with occupancy costs per workstation falling by 10.9%. This was driven by an 11.8% decrease in space utilisation – the amount of space each worker is allocated – with the biggest decreases recorded in Washington DC (-17%) and Los Angeles (-14%). Even with the move to greater space efficiency, the US still has the most space per employee on average.
While growth was recorded in Central & South America (0.6%), Europe (0.9%) and Middle East & Africa (1.4%), this remained below the global inflation rate of 3.2%. In contrast North Asia (at 6.3%) and South Asia (3.7%) witnessed growth above the global inflation rate, due primarily to strong domestic consumption and activity from non-financial sectors eager to tap into the region's brighter growth prospects. Increases in these regions were driven by Beijing and Jakarta (at 17.7% and 20.7% respectively).
Karine Woodford, Head of Occupier Research at DTZ, commented: "The US was undoubtedly one of the stories of the year, with occupancy costs per workstation falling in every city. Demand for space was low, reflecting a sluggish labour market and weak corporate sentiment, but the biggest reason for the decline was a trend across the board for greater space efficiency. We do however expect US occupancy costs to increase over the next two years, albeit at a muted rate compared to elsewhere in the world.
"Elsewhere, there will be opportunities in the next two years for occupiers seeking to establish Asian operations in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, where we anticipate costs to fall by 1.3% and 0.7% respectively. However, it should be noted that vacancy rates in Singapore are currently at their lowest level since 2008, and we expect costs to rise steadily over the longer term.
Growth in North Asia wasn't without exception as costs decreased by 12% in Hong Kong Central (from US$25,160 in 2011 down to US$22,190 in 2012). This was due to rental declines, where occupiers sought to reduce operating costs through downsizing or moving outside the core.
This resulted in Hong Kong, 2011's most expensive business base, being overtaken by London West End as the least affordable market globally. Occupiers in London West End had to pay US$23,500 per workstation per annum which is more than three times the global average. The most affordable office market is Surabaya (US$1,610), as it was in 2011, followed by Hyderabad and Chongqing.
As well as prime office space, DTZ also analysed occupancy costs per workstation for average-grade buildings in 14 major centres in Europe and Asia. Driven by increased demand from cost-conscious occupiers, secondary occupancy costs rose by 4.2% year-on-year – above global inflation and four times the rate for prime. The difference in occupancy costs between secondary and prime office space also varied hugely across the different markets, with prime anything from 17.5% more expensive (Stockholm) to 131% more (Shanghai).
Karine Woodford said: "In the current economic climate, occupiers are increasingly looking at alternatives to prime office space. The biggest differences can be seen in Shanghai and Moscow, where occupying prime costs over 100% more than taking space in an average grade building. In markets such as Stockholm, London City and Sydney the difference in cost in occupying prime compared to secondary is less pronounced, although cost savings of at least 20% can be achieved. London West End is the least affordable location in the world for occupying both prime and secondary office space."
The GOCO report also looks ahead at occupancy costs for the next two years under three different scenarios: base case (policy makers do enough to avoid a deep recession), downside (based on a multiple eurozone exit) and upside (a global corporate reawakening). Under the base case scenario, global occupancy costs are expected to increase by 2.3% over the next two years, with occupiers in North Asia witnessing the highest growth rate – at levels above the global inflation average in both 2013 and 2014.
Under the downside scenario, European markets show a sustained period of rental decline, offering cost savings for tenants. In Asia Pacific, the impact is felt more dramatically with costs rising by 1% instead of 5% under base case which provides a window of opportunity for occupiers to re-negotiate leases before rental growth accelerates. However, under the upside scenario, Asia Pacific is the region which shows the largest increase (8%) in rents, whilst both Europe and the US are expected to experience more muted growth.
HELLA Continues To Expand In Mexico
IRAPUATO, GUANAJUATO, Mexico, Feb. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- HELLA, one of the leading global suppliers in automotive lighting and electronic systems and components, has broken ground on its new Irapuato lighting facility in the Mexican state of Guanajuato. Total investment is approximately $100 million.
The modern facility will house advanced equipment and processes for producing HELLA's environmentally-focused highly-energy-efficient LED lighting technologies. Company plans include a reduction of its CO2 global footprint and an increased focus on HELLA innovative "green" plant solutions.
By June of this year, approximately 1.2 million headlamps and 1.5 million rear combination lamps will be produced at the 24,000 square meter manufacturing facility supplying lighting technologies for both the North and South America regions. The new facility will increase HELLA's combined total production capacity for these regions from 3.7 million headlamps to 4.9 million headlamps and from 2.5 million rear combination lamps to 4 million rear combination lamps.
"We are very pleased with HELLA's strong level of commitment to this region," said Miguel Marquez Marquez , Governor of the State of Guanajuato at the groundbreaking ceremony on February 1, 2013. "Irapuato is an ideal location for supplying leading technologies to the growing markets in both of the Americas."
Since 1964, HELLA has maintained operations in Mexico, with continuous expansion activities as part of its overall globalization strategy. Anticipating the growing market potential for both North and South America, and the increasing need for local customer proximity, HELLA built a new design and development center in Guadalajara over a year ago that presently employs 65 people.
HELLA has more than 2,500 employees in North and South America.
"I would like to thank the Government of Guanajuato for its dedicated support in this project, the second one cooperatively developed with them that will generate more than 800 new jobs in Irapuato," said Ignacio Moreno , president and CEO of HELLA Lighting North and South America.
"We anticipate continued growth and development for both North and South America in the coming year," said Dr. Rolf Breidenbach , president and CEO, HELLA KGaA Hueck & Co. "With our new plant in Irapuato, we will increase our production capacity in the NAFTA region and be able to quickly identify and address customer requirements. This robust infrastructure enables direct access to several major OEM's, signifying Irapuato as a strategically important location for HELLA."