Corporate Moves | Business Facilities - Economic Development, Site Selection & Workforce Solutions

German Chemical Giant to Build $1-Billion Polysilicon Plant in Tennessee Wacker Chemie AG, the Munich-based chemical company, has announced plans to build a $1-billion polysilicon plant in Bradley County, Tennessee. The new chemical facility, expected to create more than 500 new jobs in the region, is the third mega-project landed by Tennessee in the past eight months. Earlier this year, Hemlock Semiconductor announced that it would invest $2.5 billion in a new semiconductor plant near Clarksville, TN, and last summer Volkswagon chose a site just north of Chattanooga for its return to car manufacturing in the U.S. The new Wacker plant will manufacture hyperpure polycrystalline silicon, a primary component used in the manufacture of solar panels and semiconductors. The development announcement was jointly made by Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matt Kisber, Dr. Rudolph Staudigl, president and CEO of Wacker Chemie AG, and Dr. Ingomar Kovar, president of Wacker Chemical Corporation, Adrian, MI. “This announcement further enhances Tennessee’s growing reputation as an innovation center in the development and manufacture of clean energy technologies,” said Bredesen. “I appreciate Wacker Chemie’s investment in Tennessee and its recognition of the productivity of Tennessee workers, and I’m very pleased the company believes this is the best place to enhance its position in this growing economic sector.” “We expect polysilicon demand from the solar and semiconductor industries to further increase in the coming years,” said Dr. Staudigl. “Purchasing this site is an essential prerequisite to quickly build up additional production capacities outside the euro zone in line with projected market trends and growth in demand.” The facility will be located in southeastern Tennessee on a 550-acre greenfield site near the Hiwassee Industrial Park in the Charleston community of Bradley County. “Under Governor Bredesen’s leadership, we’ve developed a strategy for the creation of ‘green collar’ jobs in Tennessee,” said Kisber. “That strategy has resulted in more than $2.5 billion dollars in capital investment and over a thousand new jobs being announced in the past year and we truly believe Tennessee is well-positioned for the growth of a sustainable economy in the U.S.” In addition to the state’s strong business climate, Wacker officials cited Tennessee’s well-developed infrastructure and the cooperative partnership of state agencies, local government, the Tennessee Valley Authority and the local chamber of commerce. As part of its investment, Wacker will qualify for statutory incentives on the state and local level, including the FastTrack Infrastructure Development Program, the FastTrack Job Training Assistance Program and the Super Jobs Tax Credit. The strong […]


German Chemical Giant to Build $1-Billion Polysilicon Plant in Tennessee Wacker Chemie AG, the Munich-based chemical company, has announced plans to build a $1-billion polysilicon plant in Bradley County, Tennessee. The new chemical facility, expected to create more than 500 new jobs in the region, is the third mega-project landed by Tennessee in the past eight months. Earlier this year, Hemlock Semiconductor announced that it would invest $2.5 billion in a new semiconductor plant near Clarksville, TN, and last summer Volkswagon chose a site just north of Chattanooga for its return to car manufacturing in the U.S. The new Wacker plant will manufacture hyperpure polycrystalline silicon, a primary component used in the manufacture of solar panels and semiconductors. The development announcement was jointly made by Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matt Kisber, Dr. Rudolph Staudigl, president and CEO of Wacker Chemie AG, and Dr. Ingomar Kovar, president of Wacker Chemical Corporation, Adrian, MI. “This announcement further enhances Tennessee’s growing reputation as an innovation center in the development and manufacture of clean energy technologies,” said Bredesen. “I appreciate Wacker Chemie’s investment in Tennessee and its recognition of the productivity of Tennessee workers, and I’m very pleased the company believes this is the best place to enhance its position in this growing economic sector.” “We expect polysilicon demand from the solar and semiconductor industries to further increase in the coming years,” said Dr. Staudigl. “Purchasing this site is an essential prerequisite to quickly build up additional production capacities outside the euro zone in line with projected market trends and growth in demand.” The facility will be located in southeastern Tennessee on a 550-acre greenfield site near the Hiwassee Industrial Park in the Charleston community of Bradley County. “Under Governor Bredesen’s leadership, we’ve developed a strategy for the creation of ‘green collar’ jobs in Tennessee,” said Kisber. “That strategy has resulted in more than $2.5 billion dollars in capital investment and over a thousand new jobs being announced in the past year and we truly believe Tennessee is well-positioned for the growth of a sustainable economy in the U.S.” In addition to the state’s strong business climate, Wacker officials cited Tennessee’s well-developed infrastructure and the cooperative partnership of state agencies, local government, the Tennessee Valley Authority and the local chamber of commerce. As part of its investment, Wacker will qualify for statutory incentives on the state and local level, including the FastTrack Infrastructure Development Program, the FastTrack Job Training Assistance Program and the Super Jobs Tax Credit. The strong […]

Tennessee Corporate Moves

Corporate Moves Articles

Tennessee Corporate Moves

Tennessee Corporate Moves

German Chemical Giant to Build $1-Billion Polysilicon Plant in Tennessee Wacker Chemie AG, the Munich-based chemical company, has announced plans to build a $1-billion polysilicon plant in Bradley County, Tennessee. The new chemical facility, expected to create more than 500 new jobs in the region, is the third mega-project landed by Tennessee in the past eight months. Earlier this year, Hemlock Semiconductor announced that it would invest $2.5 billion in a new semiconductor plant near Clarksville, TN, and last summer Volkswagon chose a site just north of Chattanooga for its return to car manufacturing in the U.S. The new Wacker plant will manufacture hyperpure polycrystalline silicon, a primary component used in the manufacture of solar panels and semiconductors. The development announcement was jointly made by Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matt Kisber, Dr. Rudolph Staudigl, president and CEO of Wacker Chemie AG, and Dr. Ingomar Kovar, president of Wacker Chemical Corporation, Adrian, MI. “This announcement further enhances Tennessee’s growing reputation as an innovation center in the development and manufacture of clean energy technologies,” said Bredesen. “I appreciate Wacker Chemie’s investment in Tennessee and its recognition of the productivity of Tennessee workers, and I’m very pleased the company believes this is the best place to enhance its position in this growing economic sector.” “We expect polysilicon demand from the solar and semiconductor industries to further increase in the coming years,” said Dr. Staudigl. “Purchasing this site is an essential prerequisite to quickly build up additional production capacities outside the euro zone in line with projected market trends and growth in demand.” The facility will be located in southeastern Tennessee on a 550-acre greenfield site near the Hiwassee Industrial Park in the Charleston community of Bradley County. “Under Governor Bredesen’s leadership, we’ve developed a strategy for the creation of ‘green collar’ jobs in Tennessee,” said Kisber. “That strategy has resulted in more than $2.5 billion dollars in capital investment and over a thousand new jobs being announced in the past year and we truly believe Tennessee is well-positioned for the growth of a sustainable economy in the U.S.” In addition to the state’s strong business climate, Wacker officials cited Tennessee’s well-developed infrastructure and the cooperative partnership of state agencies, local government, the Tennessee Valley Authority and the local chamber of commerce. As part of its investment, Wacker will qualify for statutory incentives on the state and local level, including the FastTrack Infrastructure Development Program, the FastTrack Job Training Assistance Program and the Super Jobs Tax Credit. The strong […]


Ohio Corporate Moves

Ohio Corporate Moves

Howard Hanna Moves Real Estate HQ to Cleveland Howard Hanna Real Estate will move the regional headquarters of its 21-county operation in Ohio from Seven Hills to Cleveland. It will consolidate its operations in the downtown Warehouse District at 800 West St. Clair, the former location of recently acquired Realty One. “With the help of Councilman [Joe] Cimperman, the Downtown Cleveland Alliance and the City of Cleveland’s Economic Development Department, we were able to show the unique assets available to businesses that made Downtown Cleveland the location of choice for the company,” Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson says. The city will provide to Howard Hanna an Urban Development Action Grant loan in the amount of $250,000, distributed over three years and likely turned into a grant if all loan conditions are met, including maintenance of employment levels. According to Howard Hanna executives, about 100 Seven Hills employees will join about 55 former Realty One employees downtown. More hiring is expected and the employment level will likely reach 200. Howard W. Hanna IV, president of Howard Hanna Ohio, said that in addition to taking over Realty One’s 25,000-square-foot office space, the company plans to lease another 5,000 square feet in the building to accommodate more staff. He said the company is making a “significant” investment into the property, above the loan amount, but did not provide a figure. “The decision to place our Ohio headquarters in the city solidifies our commitment to the region and Cleveland, which is one of the nation’s largest major urban centers,” Hanna says. “Before we entered the Ohio market in 2003, we were impressed by the vitality of Cleveland as a world-class city that offers outstanding quality of life and has an unlimited potential for business growth. That impression is not only lasting, it is deepened.” Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, with corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh, PA, is the fifth-largest full service real estate company and the third-largest privately held real estate firm in the United States. In a period of nearly six years, the company has acquired eight other real estate brokerages and expanded services to include insurance, mortgage options, title and escrow. It is estimated that the brokerage’s move will generate more than $1 million annually for the local economy. Howard Hanna says it expects downtown to grow in the next decade, with a resurgence of high-density, mixed used-urban developments. West Chester Medical Center Opening in May West Chester Medical Center, which broke ground in West Chester, OH in July 2006, is scheduled to open […]


Tennessee Corporate Moves

Tennessee Corporate Moves

Hemlock Semiconductor to Build $2.5 Billion Plant in Clarksville The Hemlock Semiconductor Group will invest up to $2.5 billion to locate a polycrystalline silicon (polysilicon) manufacturing operation in Clarksville, TN at the Commerce Park megasite in the northeastern edge of the city. If plans are fully implemented, it will be the largest corporate capital investment in Tennessee history. After a two-year global search of more than two dozen sites, The Hemlock Semiconductor Group, which includes two Dow Corning Corporation joint ventures, Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation and Hemlock Semiconductor LLC, finally decided on a location. “Tennessee’s business climate coupled with a superb site in Clarksville, a strong, productive workforce and an excellent location in proximity to our supply chain and customers made this the right decision,” said Hemlock Semiconductor President and CEO Rick Doornbos. “This investment will allow us to meet growing customer demand in both the near term and in the decades ahead.” The Clarksville facility will produce polycrystalline silicon, a primary component used to manufacture solar cells and semiconductor devices. While most of the polysilicon will be consumed by firms in the solar industry, the site also will have the capability to make ultra-pure silicon for the electronics industry as well as solar-grade material. Upon completion, the new facility will have the capacity to manufacture up to 10,000 metric tons of polysilicon annually with the potential to expand to a production level of 21,000 metric tons. Groundbreaking on the new plant is expected in March 2009 and will create up to 1,000 jobs in construction and related crafts during the building phase. Projected to open in 2012, the Clarksville facility itself will create 500 jobs with the potential of employing up to 900 people within five to seven years. The plant will occupy the entire 1,215-acre Commerce Park megasite and the company plans to acquire an additional 947 acres adjacent to the site for additional build-out and buffer space. “The exact scale of this investment will be determined by market conditions. Making this investment in today’s volatile economic climate is a testament to both the long term outlook of the solar industry as well as Hemlock Semiconductor’s ability to add capacity to meet the needs of customers,” said Doornbos. In conjunction with this new industrial development, Austin Peay State University has received a $6.4-million grant to develop and train a workforce for the incoming Hemlock Semiconductor Plant. This includes a new campus building, six new chemical technology professors and about eleven new professors for other core credit requirements toward the […]


North Carolina Corporate Moves

North Carolina Corporate Moves

FedEx Ground to Build Package Sorting Hub in Guilford County FedEx Ground will build a new southeast sort facility in Guilford County, NC. FedEx has purchased a 125-acre site along I-40 in the Triad Business Park and will construct a 400,000 square-foot facility capable of sorting 45,000 packages per hour at full build out. The FedEx Ground facility will open in 2011 with about 500 full- and part-time employees, of which about 150 will be new positions. Additionally, independent contractors at opening are projected to be about 250, with 150 of them being newly created for the hub operation. The existing employees and independent contractors will come from the two existing Piedmont Triad facilities moving into the hub. Approximately four years after opening, the company projects that about 260 full- and part-time employees as well as about 200 independent contractor opportunities will be added. The company will invest about $100 million in land, building construction, and new machinery and equipment. The announcement last month of the Guilford project came as FedEx Express was preparing to open a new $300-million mid-Atlantic express hub at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro in the summer of 2009. When both facilities are fully operational, FedEx will directly employ close to 2,000 locally. Kirk Perkins, chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, commented on the significance of the FedEx Ground decision. “It’s an exciting time for Guilford County and especially notable with the state of the US economy to have that kind of investment and future job growth potential being generated here by FedEx Ground,” he said. “The economic impact of a new FedEx Ground sort hub is tremendous,” noted Chuck Cornelio, chairman of the Greensboro Economic Development Alliance (GEDA). “FedEx is making another very substantial investment in Guilford County because they see the opportunity our workforce and community represents. We assembled a great team to work with Ground to fully understand their project needs and then brought the necessary resources together to accomplish the task. Our goal is always to make a complicated site decision as seamless as possible.” GEDA, the Samet Corporation and the Town of Kernersville, worked with FedEx Ground for the last 18 months, assisting them with site decisions while leveraging the resources of local and state governments. Participants in the project included the Town of Kernersville, Guilford County Commissioners, North Carolina Departments of Transportation and Commerce, the North Carolina Community College System, Guilford Technical Community College, Winston-Salem Business Inc. and Duke Energy. Triad Business Park is being developed by […]


Pennsylvania Corporate Moves

Pennsylvania Corporate Moves

  Hazleton Is in the Zone In May, AutoZone, one of North America’s top auto parts retailers, opened its 600,000-square-foot distribution center in the Greater Hazleton area of Pennsylvania. Construction of the facility began in June 2007, and AutoZone expects to employ 400 people when the plant in Humboldt North Industrial Park is fully operational. AutoZone considered dozens of communities in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland before deciding on Greater Hazleton as the site for its newest distribution center, according to John Warden, an executive vice president with The Walker Company, the site selector for the project. “In addition to our workforce, several other factors helped us locate this project here. The Governor’s Action Team brought significant state financial incentives to the table. The Hazleton Area School District, Hazle Township and Luzerne County approved the land in Humboldt North for LERTA tax status. And the assistance provided by our industrial and educational community, the Manufacturers and Employers Association, CareerLink and the Chamber of Commerce was invaluable,” says Kevin O’Donnell, president of CAN DO, an economic development agency for Hazleton. Joining CAN DO and local officials in making the announcement were AutoZone representatives including Bill Graves, senior vice president of supply chain customer satisfaction; Rod Halsell, vice president of distribution and customer satisfaction; Dave Ronk, regional distribution center manager; Joe Buehrle, distribution center manager; and Joe Lorson, direction of supply chain construction. “The increasing scope of our business requires that we enhance our supply chain capabilities,” says Bill Graves, SVP of supply chain customer satisfaction. “AutoZone’s new facility in Hazle Township will bring even more efficiency to the process of delivering the right part at the right price to our retail and commercial customers.” “Our staff spent countless hours, weeks and months coordinating all of the meetings and information this company sought during the site selection process. Before joining the CAN DO board, I had no idea how much hard work goes into courting a new industrial tenant. I think everyone who is involved in this process has an appreciation for the amount of work that goes into bringing new jobs to the area,” says CAN DO Chairman of the Board Thomas Sandrock. Boston Taps Lehigh Valley Brewery The Boston Beer Company, Inc., announced in August that it has signed a purchase and sale agreement with Diageo North America, Inc. to acquire a brewery located 60 miles outside of Philadelphia, for $55 million. The company expects to begin brewing Samuel Adams beer in the fourth quarter of this year. “This agreement […]


Utah Corporate Moves

Utah Corporate Moves

Charlotte Pipe: A Utah Success Story When Charlotte Pipe and Foundry decided to expand, it needed land with easy access to rail and highway transportation. The company found that and more at the largest new rail-served industrial park west of the Mississippi: Port 15 Utah in Cedar City, UT. Charlotte Pipe found “a business-friendly environment,” says Brad Muller, vice president of marketing, “and a very easy place to do business.” The fast track process Port 15 implemented took only seven months from permits to finished 148,000-square-foot facility on 50 acres that began producing pipe in March of this year. The 107-year-old family-owned company, a market leader based in Charlotte, NC, wanted to sell plastic pipe and fittings to West Coast plumbing distributors. But because pipe is mostly air, it’s too expensive to ship across the country, so Charlotte Pipe needed a manufacturing site within a day-and-a-half-drive of southern California and other population centers on the coast. The company also needed rail service to deliver its primary raw material—PVC resin—a reliable workforce, and room to expand. Charlotte Pipe looked for land around Las Vegas and in Arizona, but found none with rail service, an essential component. It soon learned Utah is the meeting point of three major rail lines, with service to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. Port 15 Utah was created by a group of public and private investors, including: • Utah School Land Trust • State of Utah • Quantum Development Group • Iron County School District • Cedar City/Iron County Office of Economic Development • Rocky Mountain Power “Port 15 is a unique commercial and industrial center”, says Mike Hillis, a managing partner at Commerce CRG, a regional commercial real estate firm marketing the property. Utah’s three interstate highways—two east-west routes, I-70 and I-80, and a north-south route, I-15, which runs through the middle of Cedar City—have made the state a central distribution point along the Canada/Mexico trade corridor. Cedar City Regional Airport, with the second longest runway in Utah, is a key component of regional transportation. The Iron County region and Cedar City are both undergoing population growth, while maintaining a high quality of life and reasonable cost of living. Southern Utah University and Southwest Applied Technology College offer opportunities for higher education in the area. The quality of life is enhanced by such amenities as several nearby national parks, the Utah Shakespearean Festival and the annual Utah Summer Games. The Quantum Development Group created a partnership with the Utah School Land Trust to assemble 800 […]


Kentucky Corporate Moves

Kentucky Corporate Moves

  Electric Vehicle Plant Bringing 4,000 Jobs to Simpson County Integrity Automotive LLC has chosen Simpson County, KY, as the location for its new $84-million facility that will manufacture low-speed electric vehicles. “This represents an investment not only in Kentucky’s economy, but also in the future of this country, Gov. Steve Beshear said in announcing the site selection. “The long-term security and economic health of this nation depends in part on its ability to become energy independent. This plant, and the vehicles it’s designed to produce, could be an important part of this strategy. A tax incentive package worth up to $48 million for the Integrity plant was approved in August by the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority. The new one-million-square-foot manufacturing facility will be built in Franklin, KY, on 225 acres at Franklin Industrial Park. The incentives are based on Integrity’s commitment to create 4,000 new full-time jobs for Kentucky residents within the first four years of the project’s completion. The projected average hourly wage for each new job is approximately $20 per hour, exclusive of benefits. “These are good, high-paying jobs, the kind that have been so important to this state over many years and are even more important in this tough economic period, Gov. Beshear noted. Integrity’s new North American manufacturing facility represents a partnership between Integrity Automotive and California-based Zero Air Pollution (ZAP), an electric carmaker currently producing electric vehicles in China. In August, Gov. Beshear signed an executive order permitting the use of low-speed electric vehicles on Kentucky’s highways with a posted speed limit of 45 mph or less. Integrity and ZAP officials said this order was critical to their decision to choose the Franklin location over a competing site in Indiana. ZAP has been a leader in advanced transportation technologies since 1994, delivering more than 100,000 vehicles to consumers in more than 75 countries. It has positioned its business at the forefront of fuel-efficient transportation with technologies including energy-efficient gas systems, as well as electric and hybrid power systems. Rancho Poultry Invests $43 Million in Lebanon, KY Food processor Rancho Poultry LLC, a major supplier of processed chicken to restaurants and food stores, is planning to construct a 100,000-square-foot facility on a 25-acre site in Marion County, KY, that will create 250 new jobs. Two processing lines will be installed at the new facility in Lebanon, KY, capable of producing 60 million pounds of partially cooked, battered and breaded chicken products. Rancho Poultry is investing more than $43 million in the Lebanon project, and […]


Mississippi Corporate Moves

Mississippi Corporate Moves

  Toyoda Gosei Set to Build in Batesville In March, Toyoda Gosei North American Group announced plans to build a new automotive parts manufacturing plant in Batesville, MS. The facility will develop and produce interior and exterior plastic automotive components for Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi, Inc. Toyoda Gosei will invest approximately $19 million into the new 103,300-square-foot plant, located on 14.27 acres of land just off of Interstate 55. The company plans to begin production and employ 120 workers by 2010. The Mississippi Development Authority’s project team helped Toyoda Gosei narrow down the Batesville site from contenders in at least two other states. “The Mississippi Development Authority and Panola County Partnership have been a valuable resource for Toyoda Gosei as we begin building a positive relationship with the Batesville community,” says Takashi Matsuura, president of Toyoda Gosei. “Both organizations also played a key role in introducing Toyoda Gosei to various incentive programs that include training for our future workforce.” Toyoda Gosei currently has manufacturing operations in six states, in addition to headquarters in Japan, Belgium, Thailand, and Troy, MI. The corporation’s worldwide employment numbers total more than 23,000 people throughout 16 countries. Vuteq and Toyota Forge a Partnership In 2009, Vuteq USA, Inc. plans to open a new manufacturing facility in New Albany, MS. The $31-million plant is expected to employ 130 people. Vuteq will provide Toyota with more than 50 injection-molded parts, as well as the assembly of the deckboard and various component parts. Vuteq will begin production next year to coincide with the start-up of Toyota’s new Highlander SUV plant. An additional 500 workers are expected to be employed by Vuteq to work at the Toyota SUV facility. “Vuteq USA’s decision to locate in New Albany further demonstrates Mississippi’s commitment to partner with automotive suppliers to create a winning situation for the company, the community in which it will locate, and the state,” says Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour. “During the process of selecting sites, the overwhelming attribute of New Albany was its friendly and welcoming nature,” says Vuteq Canada President Chris Spence, who will oversee the new facility. Oxford Wins Over Winchester In February, the Winchester Company of Olin, Inc., announced plans to relocate its military packaging operations to an existing facility in Oxford, MS. This $3-million investment is expected to create 100 new jobs. Formerly based in East Alton, IL, Winchester’s packaging operations will utilize about 85,000 to 90,000 square feet in its existing Oxford facility. Plant equipment will be moved from Illinois to Mississippi, and a […]


Tennessee Corporate Moves

Tennessee Corporate Moves

  Chattanooga Gets a $1-Billion Windfall from Volkswagon Tennessee scored its largest economic development coup in more than a decade when Volkswagon Group of America announced in July that it will build its new U.S. automotive production facility in Chattanooga. The Chattanooga plant marks a return to U.S. production for VW, which closed its last North American plant in Pennsylvania in 1988. The German auto giant’s decision to locate car production in Tennessee is expected to bring more than 2,000 jobs and pump nearly $1 billion into the local economy. The company will build the facility in the Enterprise South Industrial Park, located 12 miles northeast of downtown Chattanooga. The 1,350-acre site is owned 100% by the city of Chattanooga and Hamilton County. Adjacent to Interstate 75, It is certified as an industrial megasite by the Tennessee Valley Authority. The new VW plant is expected to have an initial production capacity of 150,000 vehicles, including a new midsize sedan that Volkswagon is designing for the North American market. Production at the plant will commence in 2011. Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen declared that Volkswagon picked the Tennessee site over competing locations in Michigan and Alabama because of “shared values, [Tennessee’s] commitment to innovation, and [its] strong respect for the environment.” “This project will have a significant impact on the economy of Tennessee and the region for decades to come,” Bredesen said at the plant siting announcement. “Volkswagon and Chattanooga have a lot in common,” added Chattanooga City Mayor Ron Littlefield. “Both are serious about environmental sustainability and 21st century manufacturing.” Industry analysts noted that the falling value of the U.S. dollar may have been a key factor in VW’s decision to resume car production in the U.S. The decline of the U.S. currency has increased the cost of overseas production, and conversely made U.S.-based auto manufacturing more cost effective. The Tennessee Department of Economic Development put together a comprehensive package of incentives to seal the deal with Volkswagon, including statutory incentives tied to job creation and capital investment. Additional support in the deal included assistance for building up public infrastructure and job training. Japanese Auto Supplier NSK Chooses Dyersburg Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matt Kisber joined officials from NSK Steering Systems America, Inc. in May to celebrate the grand opening of their new facility in Dyersburg. The 100,000-square-foot plant will house 140 employees and represents a capital investment of more than $6 million.”The decision by NSK to come to Dyersburg illustrates just what can be […]


West Virginia Corporate Moves

West Virginia Corporate Moves

  First Major U.S. Coal-to-Liquids Plant to be Built in Benwood The nation’s first modern coal-to-liquids plant will be built in the Marshall County Industrial Park in Benwood, WV. Consol Energy Inc. and Synthesis Energy Systems Inc. (SES) intend to jointly develop their first U.S. coal gasification and liquefaction plant in an $800-million investment. Consol and SES have formed Northern Appalachia Fuel LLC (NAF) to develop the new plant. Gov. Joe Manchin and Sen. Jay Rockefeller, with support from Sen. Robert C. Byrd and West Virginia’s Congressional delegation, company executives and officials from the Regional Economic Development Partnership (RED) announced the project in July. Coal will be converted to synthetic gas using SES proprietary technology. The synthetic gas will be used to produce about 720,000 metric tons per year of methanol that can be used as a feedstock for the chemical industry. Officials expect the project will be capable of converting methanol to about 100 million gallons per year of 87-octane gasoline. As envisioned, the project will include a river terminal facility, where products will be stored in tanks for off-loading into barges for delivery to energy users. According to press reports, the West Virginia Development Office offered incentives worth up to $196 million to the Consol Energy and SES joint venture. When Gov. Manchin and the companies announced plans for the plant, Manchin’s office said Consol, SES, the state and the Regional Economic Development Partnership had signed a memorandum of understanding under which the state and the partnership will provide financing and tax incentives to the project over a 10-year period. The state will provide the project team the Economic Opportunity Credit-a state tax break that allows a company to apply 20 percent of a project’s investment as a credit against the company’s corporate net income and business franchise taxes over 10 years. The value of this incentive is projected to be $160 million, but is limited by the project’s actual state tax liability, the memo reads. The memo also says that if the project moves forward as planned, the Regional Economic Development Partnership will host a meeting with the Marshall County Commission, at which time the joint venture can request a tax-increment financing plan agreement with the county for utility and major infrastructure improvements. The tax-increment financing plan is estimated to be worth up to $35 million. Tax-increment financing uses increases in property tax revenues from a designated district for infrastructure improvements. The memo also says the Regional Economic Development Partnership will sell the joint venture 23.5 acres […]