Alexandria, LA – Ucore North America, a subsidiary of Halifax, Nova Scotia’s Ucore Rare Metals, Inc., announced today it is investing $75 million to establish North America’s first modern technology rare earth element separation and purification facility in Alexandria, LA. England Airpark, a 3,000-acre master-planned industrial park in Alexandria, and Louisiana Central, the region’s economic development organization, hosted the announcement event today at Alexandria International Airport. The project will create 392 direct and indirect jobs and bolster Central Louisiana’s role in the electric vehicle supply chain.
The Louisiana Strategic Metals Complex (SMC) will be located at England Airpark and establish a U.S.-based supply chain of rare earth oxides required to manufacture electric vehicle (EV) motors, wind turbine generators and a variety of consumer goods including smart phones, televisions, and power tools.
“It is critical that the United States leads in establishing the critical metals supply chain essential to a changing manufacturing landscape across North America,” Ucore Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Ryan, said. “The establishment of the Louisiana SMC in Alexandria represents one of these first building blocks and a significant contributor to the shift toward energy production and consumption diversification.”
Upgrades to the 80,800 square foot complex at England Airpark are slated to begin this year with operations estimated to start in early 2025. The company anticipates it will be able to process 7,500 metric tons per year of total rare earth oxides at the site by 2027.
“The England Authority is excited to be selected as the site for Ucore to establish its North American rare earth metal processing facility,” Ralph Hennessey, Executive Director of England Airpark, said. “The capital investment and jobs created will help enable Central Louisiana to cluster necessary companies to continue with the development of major components necessary for the growth of the electric vehicle industry. We want to thank Ucore for investing in Louisiana and partnering with the multiple entities that made this happen.”
The company expects the 100 new direct jobs will have an average annual salary of more than $50,000. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 292 additional new indirect jobs, for a total of 392 new jobs in Alexandria.
“Ucore’s decision to locate its Strategic Metals Complex at England Airpark is an important strategic and economic development victory for Louisiana and our region,” Louisiana Central President and CEO, Jim Clinton, said. “Thanks to Ucore for choosing this location and congratulations to our partners at England Airpark, GAEDA, and LED for all the work involved in making this happen.”
To secure the project in Alexandria, the state of Louisiana offered Ucore a competitive incentives package including the comprehensive workforce development solutions of LED FastStart and a $900,000 performance-based grant for infrastructure expenditures. The company intends to participate in the Industrial Tax Exemption and Quality Jobs programs and may utilize the state’s Research and Development tax credit.
In addition, on the local level, Greater Alexandria Economic Development Authority (GAEDA), has approved a $360,000 grant to England Airpark to support project development by providing lease assistance the first two years.
“The Greater Alexandria Economic Development Authority (GAEDA) welcomes Ucore Rare Metals, Inc. to Central Louisiana,” Curtis R. Lewis Ed.D., Acting Chairman of the Board, GAEDA said. “Ucore establishing its facility in Alexandria and on the England Airpark site is a significant economic victory for our region. This development project propels Alexandria and our region onto a strategic global platform for the processing of rare earth elements.”
“We are very proud to welcome Ucore to Alexandria,” Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy said. “This exciting and new technology-based chemical company could have located anywhere, so we are excited that we were picked for their first U.S. location and look forward to what that means for our region. In addition to the creation of 100 new jobs, we are increasing our part of the energy diversification supply chain, and we are betting that other companies in the sector will follow them here.”
Ucore plans to import thousands of metric tons of high-purity rare earth feedstocks to its Louisiana Strategic Metals Complex through the Port of New Orleans from regions around the globe. The facility will then deploy Ucore’s critical metals separation technology to produce the materials for rare earth permanent magnets used in EV motors and to generate electricity from wind turbines.
“This major jobs-creating project in Central Louisiana is another illustration of how the shift toward cleaner energy is creating opportunities all across our state,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “The products manufactured at Ucore will reinforce Louisiana’s importance to the global supply chain as we look to further diversify and expand our economy.”
To learn more about Ucore, visit Ucore.com.
Britni Lilley, Communications Coordinator
Sheri Scallan, Community/Media Relations