Denham Springs chemical company plans $17.5 million expansion, will add 8 jobs

Denham Springs chemical company plans $17.5 million expansion, will add 8 jobs
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Bercen, a Denham Springs specialty chemicals manufacturer, said it will spend $17.5 million to expand its facility, a move that will create eight new jobs.

The new jobs have an average annual salary of $75,000, plus benefits, according to Louisiana Economic Development. The expansion is estimated to create 23 indirect jobs in metro Baton Rouge. Bercen has 55 employees at its local operations.

Plans are to make infrastructure and equipment upgrades to boost production capacity, along with improving the environmental management operations. The work is set to begin next month and should be completed by early 2023. Hiring for the new jobs has already started. 

Bercen is a division of specialty ingredients manufacturer Vertellus, which makes mosquito repellant diethyl toluamide, otherwise known as DEET, among other chemical compounds used in consumer and industrial applications. Vertellus acquired the company in early 2020. 

Bercen, formerly a subsidiary of Cranston Print Works, relocated its headquarters from Rhode Island to Denham Springs in 2009.

The company has been eyeing an expansion for several years. An advance notification of the work was filed with LED in 2018, said David O. Bennett, president & CEO of the Livingston Economic Development Council. That notification expired after two years, and Bercen filed another one in early 2020, right before the COVID pandemic started.

To secure the expansion at the Denham Springs facility, the state of Louisiana provided Bercen with an incentive package that includes $250,000 from the Economic Development Award program. Bercen is also expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.

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