After several months of assessing, removing and attempting to salvage structures, and some intensive planning to optimize future operations, the BioLab team started the reconstruction of its Lake Charles, Louisiana, plant. KIK/BioLab executives and local officials, including Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, gathered on June 30 to break ground and officially kickoff this phase of the project.
The addresses of the KIK executives and the Louisiana governor during the groundbreaking ceremony highlighted that KIK’s investment in Lake Charles will not only return jobs to the community but also allow manufacturing resumption of much-needed products that benefit the millions of people who enjoy pools and spas.
“I have a pool at my house, and I can tell you that since this facility has been sidelined, the cost of those chemicals has gone up and they’re harder to get,” Edwards says. “I am so happy we are going to be putting it back into production soon.”
“The shortage resulting from the shut-down of our facility is impacting pool [and spa] retailers and owners across the country and they are eagerly awaiting our plant to be operational and to fill the gap,” says Jon Viner, BioLab president.
But Stephen Jackson, KIK CFO, also pointed out that the company’s plans are to go beyond merely filling the market gap. “The $170 million investment that KIK is going to deliver on will improve and make this facility more efficient and flexible,” he says. “It will be a state-of-the-art plant that will significantly increase our capacity.”
The company is targeting a spring 2022 reopening and, until the plant is fully operational, it will continue sourcing raw materials from global sources to fulfill the ongoing need for chlorine sanitizers in the U.S. and Canadian markets.