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SWEPCO Helps Shreveport Land Manufacturing Win

August 17, 2023

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards greets SWEPCO President and COO Brett Mattison at the SLB announcement of its $18.5 million investment at the former General Motors plant in Shreveport. 

After being largely dormant for more than a decade, the site of the former General Motors Assembly Plant in Shreveport is being repowered and reinvented by SLB as an advanced, high-tech manufacturing facility.

In July, SLB – a global oilfield services supplier that has expanded into the technology industry – announced plans to establish a high-tech manufacturing facility at the former General Motors Assembly Plant in Shreveport.

The 530-acre campus had housed one of SWEPCO Louisiana’s largest industrial customers when General Motors’ assembly, stamping and painting facilities were in production for just over 30 years. At its height, with two shifts of truck production, General Motors operated a peak load of 38 megawatts, according to Dale Colvin, a Principal Key Accounts Manager who has worked on the plant’s account for many years.

“At SWEPCO, we actively work alongside community leaders in Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas to help drive economic development and support commercial expansion throughout our service territory. This is a big manufacturing win for Caddo Parish,” said Eric Basinger, manager, Economic & Business Development. “It’s great to see the announcement come to life and know it offers added benefits of attracting jobs, tax revenue and new residents, all of which provide cascading benefits to help keep customer rates low and our communities strong.”

SLB plans to renovate and occupy 1 million square feet of the campus for its Shreveport Technology Center, which will produce and test digital infrastructure components. Basinger estimates SLB’s $18.5 million investment could add anywhere from 3 to 10 megawatts (MW) of electric load, and SWEPCO is helping the manufacturer have a smart start by offering a variety of energy efficiency and other incentives. A megawatt is a unit for measuring energy consumption or generation.

For this effort, SWEPCO worked with the state of Louisiana as it crafted a competitive incentive package to help secure SLB’s investment.

In addition to Louisiana’s LED FastStart and a $4.5 million grant for building and infrastructure purposes, the package also included AEP’s Economic Development Rider, a cost savings mechanism that can create an economic advantage for a company in their first years of operation. The Economic Development Rider offers a three-year demand charge reduction based on the level of job creation. For SLB, that entails 40% in year one, 30% in year two and 20% in year three based on the nearly 600 jobs it’s expected to create. In addition, SLB will earn a $125,000 incentive from SWEPCO’s Louisiana Commercial Energy Efficiency program to transition to energy saving LED lighting.

SWEPCO was similarly involved in economic development efforts in the late 1970s when General Motors first built the Shreveport plant. Colvin said SWEPCO constructed two 138,000-volt Transmission lines to the plant to help prepare the site for production. In addition, an on-site substation was built with two 40,000 kVA transformers for dual redundancy to serve the new facilities.  

“I’m proud of our SWEPCO team and appreciate the support from across our AEP system. Whether it’s External Affairs, Customer Services, Sales, Economic Development, Regulatory, Generation, Transmission and Distribution teams, everyone plays a role and I’m thrilled to see these opportunities come in to the SWEPCO footprint to benefit our customers and help keep our communities strong,” explained Brett Mattison, SWEPCO President and COO.

Hyundai Glovis, Pratt Papers, and thyssenkrupp supply chain services also have a presence on the campus, known today as the Shreveport Business Park.

You can learn more about AEP’s economic development efforts here.

Other recent wins in SWEPCO’s footprint:

  • The Teal-Jones Group: This timber harvesting and lumber company selected a 250-acre site in Plain Dealing, Louisiana, for its new sawmill. It was the first economic development project the small town had seen in years. The SEBD team worked with SWEPCO and AEP Transmission to highlight the town as the best location for the company’s strict site criteria. Creates 125 jobs; in service by September 2024.
  • Camfil: This manufacturer of clean air solutions selected Synergy Park in Kilgore, Texas, for its new manufacturing facility. The 350,000-square-foot facility will occupy 43 acres. Hired close to 50 ahead of permanent construction with an estimated 200 jobs over five years; in service by July 2025.
  • Local Bounti: This leading U.S. controlled environment agriculture company selected Mt. Pleasant, Texas, as the site of a six-acre state-of-the-art indoor facility. A line of indoor grown packaged leafy greens, including spring mix, butter lettuce, romaine crisp, green leaf, will be produced at the facility. Creates 200 direct and indirect jobs through Titus County; in service in late 2023.

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