GONZALES, La. (AP) — The Ascension Parish Council has approved revising an incentive proposal for a proposed $300 million chemical facility set to locate in the parish.

Canadian mineral development company Avalon Rare Metals Inc. announced last month its intention to build a 150-acre rare earth elements separation refinery in Geismar. Construction of the facility would depend on a final investment decision by Avalon in 2013.

The Advocate reports ( ) the project is estimated to create 175 new direct, full-time jobs with a projected annual payroll of $13.1 million.

The project also would produce another 400 temporary construction jobs, with a combined two-year payroll of $47 million, the Ascension Economic Development Corp. predicts.

During a 10-year period, the plan would generate $9 million in revenues for parish government entities that receive sales and property taxes.

Thursday's 8-0 vote lowers a previously approved 45 percent sales tax rebate figure from $1.3 million to $809,000.

Mike Eades, president of Ascension Parish's economic development arm, said the reduction comes from lower engineering costs and a change in proposed capital expenditures.

"There are products in the Geismar area that are needed to operate their business," Eades said. "Instead of having to make that capital investment themselves, they'll be taking those items via pipeline."

Parish President Tommy Martinez said a final vote on the parish's part of the project should come at the council's first meeting in October.


Information from: The Advocate,