Monheim, Germany-based Bayer CropScience announced that it plans to build a glufosinate-ammonium herbicide production facility near Mobile, Alabama.
The project is expected to require an investment of $396 million by Bayer CropScience, and will create 180 new and high-paying jobs with average annual wages of $75,000.
The company markets this glufosinate-ammonium as Liberty herbicide used for weed control.
They already produce Liberty herbicide at facilities in Muskegon, Michigan and Frankfurt, Germany. But demand for the product is expected to outpace their current combined production capacity.
Bayer CropScience CEO Liam Condon said they were setting up this facility in response to urgent calls by agronomists and farmers seeking weed control technology that can overcome the growing problem of weed resistance to common herbicides.
Mobile successfully competed for this herbicide production facility against one other U.S. city that was also in contention for the project up until the final stages.
In order to secure the project, the Mobile IDA has approved $32 million worth of tax abatements over a ten year period for Bayer CropScience.
The project was made easier to approve because Bayer CropScience plans to co-locate the herbicide facility on land that will be leased from specialty chemicals manufacturer Evonik, which has its largest North American site in Mobile.
The company expects to complete construction and have the new facility operational sometime during the fourth quarter in 2015, so that the 2016 growing season can be their first year of production. Bayer CropScience expects this plant to be a key component in helping them reach a target of doubling production capacity for the Liberty herbicide.
Bayer CropScience has its regional North American headquarters located in the Research Triangle Park near Durham in North Carolina.
Apart from the Research Triangle headquarters, a nearby innovation center in Morrisville, and the Muskegon facility in Michigan, Bayer CropScience has additional facilities in the U.S. in Davis, California; Lubbock and Pasadena in Texas; Kansas City, Missouri; and one more near Charleston, West Virginia.
Bayer CropScience employs 20,800 workers worldwide, and has a presence in 120 countries. The company is a subsidiary of Bayer AG.