Case Studies

Seeking a more favorable business climate, Fortune 1000 Albemarle Corporation relocates headquarters to Baton Rouge


Albemarle seeks new headquarters to be closer to customers

Albemarle Corporation, with origins dating to 1887, is a leading global developer, manufacturer and marketer of highly engineered specialty chemicals. The company operates three different business segments — fine chemicals, polymer additives and catalysts — and services customers in more than 100 countries. Its chemicals are used in consumer electronics, petroleum and petrochemical processing, transportation and industrial products, pharmaceuticals, agricultural products and construction and packaging materials.

Albemarle is a Fortune 1000 company, with 4,000 employees worldwide. Much of Albemarle's business lies in the Gulf Coast region, and in order to be closer to its customers, Albemarle executives evaluated a headquarters move from Richmond, Va. In addition to looking at sites in Virginia, executives evaluated sites in the Carolinas, Texas and Louisiana. With customers outside the U.S., Albemarle also needed access to ports and major distribution infrastructure, which these states provided.

Louisiana officials offer solutions to address Albemarle's needs

During Albemarle's search, company leaders met with LED officials to discuss the opportunities in Louisiana.

With close proximity to several ports, Albemarle found Louisiana a prime location to enable the company to serve its global clients. Access to rails and interstates supported the company's specialty chemical production network. Additionally, state universities provided Albemarle officials with a strong resource for local talent. These universities could also assist with valuable research initiatives.

To support the company's headquarters relocation, Louisiana offered Albemarle $4.2 million in relocation expenses, which included a performance-based, state Rapid Response Fund of $3.2 million and $1 million from the East Baton Rouge City-Parish government.

Albemarle selects Baton Rouge for headquarters relocation

Albemarle already operated a production facility and administrative offices with more than 500 people in Baton Rouge, which became a natural fit for Albemarle's relocation, not only based on its infrastructure, but the strong business climate the state provided. Persuaded by Louisiana's relocation incentives, recent ethics reforms and the elimination of business taxes, Albemarle executives in April 2008 committed to moving the company's headquarters to Baton Rouge, bringing 30 new jobs and more than $7 million in new annual payroll to the area.

Albemarle dramatically renovated corporate office space in Baton Rouge, making an investment of $6.5 million. The headquarters alone employs more than 300 people, housing executive leadership and significant support functions, such as business administration, sales, marketing, engineering, finance, human resources, customer service, supply chain and alliance services.

Since relocating, Albemarle has continued to experience significant growth and success in Louisiana. Less than a year after announcing the relocation, Albemarle completed the $21 million expansion of a Process Development Center in Baton Rouge. The project includes a new $15 million catalysts manufacturing unit and a new $6 million laboratory.

Albemarle's growth continued, and in the fourth quarter of 2011, Albemarle invested $1.5 million to open a new Environmental Research and Development facility at its Product Development Center in Baton Rouge. The expansion allowed the company to increase its capabilities in multi-pollutant control, while significantly extending its environmental research.

Also in the fourth quarter of 2011, the company took advantage of its proximity to local universities and opened a new Research and Development Microbiology lab at the Louisiana Business & Technology Center in the LSU Innovation Park. The lab is a partnership between Albemarle and Southern Microbiological Services, a company founded by LSU Professor Dr. William Doerrler.

Related Incentive

LED FastStart®

Provides workforce recruitment, screening and training to new and expanding Louisiana companies at no cost.

Key Industry

Process Industries

Highly skilled talent and an abundance of natural resources make Louisiana a smart choice for the process industries.

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