Lacassine cotton mill expected to bring economic boom

by Brandon Richards bio | email

LACASSINE, LA (KPLC) - Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal joined Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret Monday afternoon to help commission Zagis USA's new cotton spinning mill in Lacassine.

The 128,000 square foot facility is the first new cotton mill to be built in the United States in several years and first major cotton project in Louisiana in decades.

The plant, along with a yet-to-be-built sister plant, will employ 160 workers in Louisiana by 2012. The average annual salary for mill workers is estimated at $31,000. In addition, the plants are expected to create 645 additional indirect jobs.

"This investment by Zagis USA is huge news for Lacassine and all of Louisiana," said Jindal. " With this new facility, we are keeping more of our homegrown cotton in our state and turning it into valuable textile fibers to create good jobs for our people right here at home. Indeed, instead of Louisiana exporting our raw goods so others can profit, we are now creating value added jobs here and helping our farmers at the same time."

The Lacassine facility is capable of processing 50 million pounds of cotton each year. Twenty percent of the cotton processed will be homegrown Louisiana cotton.

"This project represents a significant shift for the textile industry," LED Secretary Moret said. "To have Zagis USA commit to building not one but two modern cotton spinning plants using the most advanced technology in the world is a testament to our state's ongoing economic momentum."

Zagis USA President and CEO Dan Feibus said his company looked at several states along the Gulf Coast and Southeast, but decided on Louisiana because of strong support from the state leaders.

"The qualitative differential was the real impact the Jindal administration had in coming up with tailor made solutions for us particularly in training and getting this project up and running," Feibus said. "Now that this plant is realized, we are confident that it represents our first investment of many in this great state and its great workforce."

To help secure the company in Louisiana, the state economic development department gave the company a $2.4 million performance-based, forgivable loan, while the state bond commission provided $10 million in Jeff Davis Parish industrial bonds.

Zagis USA was founded in 2007 as a partnership between North Carolina textile executives and Grupo ZAGA, a Mexican commercial and industrial conglomerate.

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