- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 11, 2014

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - A $16 million upgrade of a manufacturing facility in Shreveport means new jobs in north Louisiana.

Gov. Bobby Jindal and Lubrication Technologies Inc. CEO Chris Bame announced the project Monday. They say the project will create 75 new jobs with an average annual salary of more than $41,400 per year.

The North Golden Valley, Minn.-based company, also known as Lube-Tech, will make lubricants and related fluids for power sports, marine and outdoor power equipment markets. The Shreveport site is Lube-Tech’s first major investment in the South.

The operations will be located in a 226,000-square-foot facility that once housed an automotive supplier for the former General Motors assembly plant. Officials say the Louisiana operations will enable the company to better serve key domestic customers in the South and to be closer to its supply sources.

Louisiana Economic Development began discussing expansion options with Lubrication Technologies in August, offering the company a performance-based loan incentive of $750,000 and access to the state’s quality jobs and industrial tax exemption programs.

“This new venture undertaken by Lubrication Technologies is a great win for our state and will create great new career opportunities for hundreds of families in Northwest Louisiana,” Jindal said in a statement. “We’re proud that Louisiana’s rapidly improving business climate and best-in-the-nation workforce programs attracted this significant manufacturing project in competition with other states in the South.”

Bame said Lube-Tech is excited about the expansion.

“Our new Shreveport facility will manufacture, package and distribute specialty lubricants globally,” Bame said. “We were pleased with Louisiana Economic Development’s help in finding a location, providing relocation funding, and assisting with employee recruitment and training. LED representatives proactively identified solutions to challenges in an entrepreneurial spirit that reflects our company culture.”

Construction is expected to begin in 2014’s first quarter, with hiring beginning shortly thereafter and leading to 35 new jobs by mid-2015. The additional 40 positions will be filled by 2016.

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