Chemical Industry on a Rebound

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Louisiana's petrochemical industry is in a renaissance as natural gas prices remain low and because of major new discoveries including the Haynesville shale deposit in northwest Louisiana.

Dan Borné, president of the Louisiana Chemical Association and the Louisiana Chemical Industry Alliance, say the industry was in perilous times five years ago.

The price of natural gas, a fuel and feedstock for the chemical industry, was high. Many chemical plants along the Mississippi River and Interstate 10 corridor from Baton Rouge to New Orleans had cut back their operations.

Employment in the industry fell from 34,000 in 1999 to 24,000 a decade later.

But Borné credited “the magic of the marketplace” in the form of falling gas prices and the Haynesville Shale for bringing back the good times.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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