Two North Louisiana Communities Named Among Top Micropolitans
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    March 21, 2017

    Two North Louisiana Communities Named Among Top Micropolitans

    BASTROP - NATCHITOCHES, La. — Natchitoches and Bastrop in North Louisiana have been named among the nation’s top 100 micropolitans for economic development by Site Selection magazine, a leading economic development journal. A micropolitan is a statistical area with a population of at least 10,000 but less than 50,000.

    Natchitoches ranks at no. 51 out of 575 micropolitans nationwide, with three economic development projects. Those projects include Biomass Secure Power, Alliance Compressors, and Pilgrim’s Pride.

     “We’re proud of this ranking, as it demonstrates the level of commitment we have in our area to developing our resources,” said Mayor Lee Posey, City of Natchitoches. “These projects add jobs, increase local capital and—most importantly—show we are a great place to invest.  The City is a major supporter of the Natchitoches Community Alliance (NCA), which has shown great promise in helping develop our assets, and I look forward to continued successes for our City.”

    Biomass Power Louisiana, LLC, a subsidiary of Biomass Secure Power, is negotiating a lease for 90 acres of land at the Port of Natchitoches for the Phase I construction of a proposed torrefied biomass briquettes plant. The company plans to sell the torrefied biomass briquettes to power producers in Europe and Asia who require a sustainable substitute for coal.

    Total construction costs for Phase I is estimated to be $49.2 million. Upon completion of Phase I, the plant will have a production capacity of 240,000 metric tons. In January, Biomass Power Louisiana, LLC received preliminary approval for up to $60 million in bonding authority with the Louisiana Bond Commission.  These funds will be used for construction and equipment for a manufacturing facility at the Port of Natchitoches.

    Alliance Compressors and Pilgrim's Pride are both modernization projects. Alliance Compressors manufactures compressors, primarily for air conditioners, with Emerson Climate Technologies as the majority and operating organization.   Alliance Compressors completed a $25 million modernization project that retained 460 existing jobs and added 100 additional jobs.

    Pilgrim’s Pride Chicken Processing Plant in Natchitoches is completing $12 million in modernization projects that will retain 475 jobs in Natchitoches Parish.
     
    Bastrop Named Twice on Top Micropolitans List
     
    Bastrop ranked no. 78 out of 575 micropolitans nationwide, with two economic development projects in 2016. The two economic development wins that landed the City of Bastrop in the Top 100 Micropolitan list involved Kennedy Rice Mills and EDP Renewables North America.

     “We are proud of the progress that the City of Bastrop has made in reenergizing and diversifying our economy,” said Mayor Arthur Jones, City of Bastrop. “Companies like Drax Biomass, DG Foods, Flying Tigers Aviation, John N John Trucking, and Kennedy Rice Mills have recently located in and around Bastrop and Morehouse Parish because of our competitive advantages and aggressive recruitment efforts.”

    Last August, Kennedy Rice Mills launched its newest line of organic white and brown rice under the brand KenChaux Rice.  The estimated $2 million investment positioned Kennedy Rice Mills to capture a share of the growing organic food market. Kennedy Rice has been growing steadily since it first began construction of its $10 million rice mill in 2011, creating 22 jobs. This latest expansion solidifies the company’s presence in the small community of Mer Rouge, just north of Bastrop. 

    In 2016, EDP Renewables North America, based in Houston, initiated its plan to locate a solar energy plant along the 165 corridor in Morehouse Parish.  The project is expected to generate $78.5 million in capital investment and to create two new jobs. EDP Renewables North America is part of the global energy company, EDP Renewables, with wind farms and solar plants in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

    "It is great to see this community recognized,” said Kay King, CEO, Morehouse Economic Development Corp.  “Bastrop continues to grow and develop a more diverse business base.  We are thankful for the companies that saw opportunity and invested in us."

    This is the second time that Bastrop made Site Selection’s Top Micropolitan List. In 2014, Bastrop was recognized for the Drax Biomass' $120 million investment. The renewable energy company, based out of the United Kingdom, built a wood pellet facility in Morehouse Parish, creating 60 new jobs. For the last five years, Bastrop and Morehouse Parish have landed many economic development projects, including DG Foods, which created nearly 400 jobs and Flying Tiger Aviation which created 21 new jobs.

    The community took aggressive action to develop a new economic development plan and to rebrand itself following the closure of its largest employer, International Paper. The community’s unemployment rate continues to decline as more and more companies create new jobs in Bastrop and Morehouse Parish.
     
    About North Louisiana Economic Partnership
     
    North Louisiana Economic Partnership, an Accredited Economic Development Organization, provides professional economic development services to the 14 parish region of North Louisiana, including lead generation and prospect management. The organization also represents the interests of North Louisiana with a unified voice and as a single point of contact. It acts as a catalyst, a convener, and a connector in the region to ensure that North Louisiana’s economic development potential is realized. Its vision is for North Louisiana to be a thriving region-a destination for high quality talent, innovative companies, and global investment.
NLEP Events
  • February 6, 2018

    NLEP's Top Event>>

    Billed as a Celebration of Economic Development, the Top Event features respected site selector, Del Boyette, President & CEO of Boyette Strategic Advisors, who will discuss economic development trends that impact North Louisiana. The Top Event will be held February 6th at Sam's Town Hotel, Shreveport, LA starting at 5:30pm with a Reception followed by the Dinner and Program at 6:30pm. NLEP's Annual Meeting is considered the largest economic development event in North Louisiana, attracting 500 attendees last year.  The Top Event will also honor NLEP's Top Award Winnners. Thank you to our Presenting Sponsor, CenturyLink.





     

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