Rain CII moving headquarters back to state

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 5, 2013

LAPLACE – Gov. Bobby Jindal and Rain CII CEO Gerry Sweeney recently announced that the company will move its corporate headquarters from Houston to Covington, resulting in more than 140 new direct and indirect jobs in the River Parishes region and surrounding areas.
Rain CII Carbon LLC, which produces calcined petroleum coke, an essential element in making aluminum, will create 71 new direct jobs with salaries averaging $102,700 annually, plus benefits. Fifty-six of the total 71 new direct jobs will be created at the Covington headquarters, with the remaining 15 jobs split between the company’s Norco, Gramercy, Chalmette and Lake Charles locations.
Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in another 70 new indirect jobs. The company will also retain 156 existing jobs in Louisiana as a result of the relocation. Additionally, Rain CII committed to make a capital investment of $65 million over the next five years across its Louisiana manufacturing, research and logistics facilities.   Construction will begin on the company’s Covington headquarters in the first quarter of 2014. The Class A office space will be approximately 40,000 square feet, and will be built on a nearly three-acre site in the Northpark Business Park on U.S. Highway 190. Formal operations will begin at the Covington headquarters in the final quarter of 2014. The company will begin hiring in early 2014.  
Rain CII has made significant capital investments in Louisiana since 2010, investing more than $100 million on projects across the state to equip its operations for the long term. Among those investments is an energy co-generation facility completed earlier this year in Lake Charles, where 15 jobs were added to support the company’s new power plant.
To secure the project, the state offered Rain CII a competitive incentive package that includes a $3.6 million performance-based grant, to be paid in four annual installments, for offsetting headquarters relocation costs. Rain CII will be eligible for a $2 million Modernization Tax Credit, to be claimed over five years, after making the $65 million plant capital investment. The company also will receive the services of LED FastStart,the nation’s no. 1-ranked state workforce development program. Rain CII is also expected to utilize Louisiana’s Industrial Tax Exemption and Quality Jobs programs.  
“Greater New Orleans is the historic home of our company and a natural location for our headquarters,” Sweeney said. “With four plants in Louisiana, it affords the best blend of proximity to our operations, quality of life for employees and exposure to the cultural events of a larger city. We are thankful for the support and partnership of the State of Louisiana in helping make this return a reality.”
The company was formerly headquartered in the New Orleans area before moving to Texas as a result of facility damage incurred from Hurricane Katrina. Company officials said Rain CII is moving back to Louisiana because of the state’s successful business climate and the quick recovery and revitalization of the Greater New Orleans area.    Jindal said, “Few projects demonstrate Louisiana’s extraordinary progress and resilience since Hurricane Katrina like this Rain CII relocation project. Here is a company that was originally headquartered in the New Orleans area that is returning home – not simply because its roots are here but because Louisiana now offers an outstanding business climate, a great workforce and a world-class infrastructure for business investment. Today, New Orleans and our entire state are thriving, and we make a winning case for corporate headquarter relocations, high-performing manufacturing wins and technology projects. Most importantly, Rain CII’s return home to Louisiana will mean outstanding career opportunities for Louisianians for years to come.”   Rain CII takes green petroleum coke, a byproduct of petroleum refining, and produces calcined pet-coke, or CPC. The combustion process that produces CPC also captures thermal energy to generate steam and electric power. In addition to aluminum, CPC is an essential element in making titanium dioxide, a key component of paint pigments, and in other industrial applications, such as steel recycling.