Facility near Port of New Orleans also to manufacture packaging for shipping plastics.
A division of New Orleans-based Jensen Companies, TCI Plastics LLC is a packaging, logistics and warehousing services provider. With the completed expansion, TCI will have more than 900,000 square fee of warehouse space dedicated to plastics and the capacity to package nearly 2 billion pounds of plastics annually.
When Greater New Orleans, Inc., a regional economic development alliance serving the 10-parish region of Southeast Louisiana, identified the export of plastics through the Port of New Orleans as a growth market, TCI was there to take advantage of this opportunity. The region near the port has developed a high density of plastics manufacturing operations and has become known as the Mega-Plastics District.
With an eye on the plastics export business, TCI had expanded in the area in 2008 when it purchased 27.3 acres of underutilized land from the Port of New Orleans. TCI then developed a $13.5 million state-of-the-art, 150,000-square-foot packaging and warehousing facility and relocated its corporate headquarters to the site.
In 2014, needing to expand again, TCI began development of a new $38.5 million, 500,000-square-foot logistics facility that increases the company’s ability to package and ship PVC resin and polyethylene while adding the manufacturing capability of producing plastic film on site to package the products. Construction is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2015 with a 2017 opening.
The substantial growth in plastics-based chemical production in Louisiana is driving TCI’s expansions, and the Entergy New Orleans business development team brought resources to help the company realize both of these opportunities.
In 2007, Entergy New Orleans assembled a meeting with TCI, Louisiana Economic Development and the Port of New Orleans to discuss site needs and financial incentives. Entergy helped TCI locate the Port of New Orleans site, where the first warehouse was built. A forgivable loan was secured to help fund the construction of the first rail spur to the site. The $13.5 million facility grew to include two PVC powder packing lines, two rail spurs and a granite handling facility. In addition to financial resources, the Entergy team also helped TCI identify additional customers.
With the opening of TCI’s first facility, the logistical benefits of the new location adjacent to the port soon became apparent.
Growth pressures soon found TCI leasing an additional 300,000 square feet of rail-served wharf space from the Port, building out packaging lines for PVC powder and adding PET resin pellets to the mix. By 2012, TCI was faced with the opportunity to serve more customers as more plants opened in the robust Mega-Plastics District. But TCI’s existing facilities could no longer meet the new demand.
Teaming up with Entergy and the same allies as before, TCI identified 47 acres of land owned by the Port of New Orleans. Plans for the new site call for 520,000 square feet of warehouse space to serve the needs of Sasol, an international integrated energy and chemical company, and other customers. TCI also will manufacture the bags used in shipping plastic pellets at the new facility.
In addition to helping TCI with tax incentives, Entergy New Orleans supplied technical assistance and guidance regarding natural gas feed backup generation. Entergy New Orleans also provided resources to help TCI determine whether or not it will be able to convert its trucking fleet to compressed natural gas (CNG), a more environmentally friendly fuel.
TCI will make a $36.5 million capital investment to build the new facility. Since 2009, TCI has made more than $70 million in capital investments in the New Orleans area. It also has: