Monsanto plans to expand Roundup herbicide production at one of its facilities.
The St. Louis, MO-based manufacturer intends to invest up to $196 million over the next 18 months at the Luling, LA, glyphosate manufacturing facility. The planned development will increase its global capacity to produce Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides.
“Growing global adoption of our seed products, including Roundup Ready crops, has led to increased demand for our Roundup agricultural herbicides,” explains Mark Leidy, executive vice president of manufacturing at Monsanto. “Today’s investment provides for new process improvements at our Luling manufacturing facility, allowing us to strengthen our manufacturing position while helping to ensure that our business is able to provide a reliable supply of the world’s leading herbicide brand, Roundup, to our customers.”
The improvements have the potential to increase the site’s manufacturing capacity of Roundup agricultural herbicide by approximately 20 percent once finalized, which would increase the overall global supply of glyphosate by more than 10 percent.
The plant expansion, which is expected to be completed in the first half of the company’s 2010 fiscal year, should add new jobs to the New Orleans region and its economy. The project is expected to employ approximately 30 new people directly and result in the hiring of approximately 300 to 350 people during the construction period at the plant.
The plans also include an energy reduction project. Monsanto will implement a hydrogen-recovery project, a step that will enable it to reduce natural gas costs and better conserve and utilize hydrogen, a by-product of the glyphosate manufacturing process. This is expected to allow the company to reduce its direct or indirect greenhouse gas emissions at the facility by an estimated 128 million pounds, or 58,000 metric tons, annually. This reduction equates to a carbon footprint that would be generated by more than 9,000 airplane trips around the world annually.