Acadiana Business

North Lafayette lands $65 million Halliburton expansion

by Leslie Turk

Halliburton chooses Lafayette for a $65 million project that's expected to create 150 new direct jobs with an average salary of $53K.

Oilfield services giant Halliburton has selected north Lafayette over a pool of state and international competitors for a major manufacturing facility that's expected to create 150 direct jobs with an annual payroll of $8 million, plus benefits - that equates to an average $53,000 a year. Halliburton is investing $65 million in the project and expects to begin construction by July of this year, creating an additional 250 construction jobs.

The manufacturing facility is locating on Pont des Mouton across from the Northpark Technology Center; the company has signed a purchase agreement on the 40-acre tract with Lafayette businessman Larry Leger.

Louisiana Economic Development anticipates that the 150 direct jobs will create another 357 indirect jobs, generating $4.4 million in additional tax revenue over the next decade.

Just after 2 p.m. Tuesday, Gov. Bobby Jindal joined Halliburton Senior Vice President Marc Edwards and a slew of Lafayette-area officials and dignitaries to unveil plans for the 200,000-square-foot facility, which will produce complex machined components for oilfield service operations with state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment. The facility will also produce value-added services, such as heat treatment, coating and other specialty operations, and will have assembling and product testing operations performed before shipping components to oil and gas producers around the world.

Edwards, who trained with Halliburton in Lafayette 26 years ago after earning a mechanical engineering degree in the UK and went on to become a senior VP, likened the jobs that will be created here to the type of manufacturing positions in the aerospace industry, calling them "high-tech, high paying." Giving props to state and local officials, including Lafayette Consolidated Government personnel in various departments - all of whom worked for about eight months on a secret project they knew only as "Prospect Dreidel" - he said Lafayette was chosen over a number of states, including Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama and Mississippi, as well as sites in Brazil, Europe, West Africa and Asia. "We put a lot of effort into [this decision]," he said. "Lafayette has won this particular deal here, competing on a global basis."

Edwards thanked LED and the Lafayette Economic Development Authority for their assistance "in helping us decide that Lafayette is the best location for our new facility." He cited Lafayette's strong workforce and economy, access to major transportation zones and the Louisiana FastStart program to help hire and train our employees as key to helping Halliburton expand its business.

To help secure this project, LED offered the company an incentive package, including performance-based financial assistance of $2 million for site acquisition and infrastructure from the Louisiana Rapid Response Fund and a workforce program from Louisiana FastStart. Halliburton also will take advantage of the state's Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.

"With more than 900 oil-and-gas-related businesses in Lafayette and many more throughout Acadiana, this region is the hub for energy production and services in the Southeastern U.S. and the Gulf of Mexico," said LEDA's Gregg Gothreaux. "Our community provides an industry-savvy environment and a workforce that is highly skilled, making Lafayette very attractive to energy companies."

Halliburton employs 863 people in Lafayette Parish, about 1,200 in Acadiana and almost 3,000 throughout the state. Its nearly 60,000 employees work in 80 countries.