WhiteRock Pigments Investing $179M In Kentucky

The company will create 124 jobs at the former Alcoa building near Hawesville, KY with the help of state tax incentives and workforce programs.

WhiteRock Pigments Inc. will locate a $179 million chemical manufacturing operation in Hancock County, KY, near Hawesville. The project expected to create 124 full-time jobs.

Hawesville Hancock County, KY
WhiteRock Pigments will invest $179 million in the former Alcoa building, just northwest of Hawsville, KY. (Photo: Kenergy)

“It has been a pleasure to work with the Kentucky economic development folks and the administration in Hancock County,” said Robert Meyer, CEO of WhiteRock Pigments (WPR). “Their responsiveness, hospitality and can-do business attitude is a major contributor to our interest in the Hawesville site. WhiteRock will build a vibrant new enterprise and looks to be a significant contributor to the community.”

WRP will locate in the former Alcoa building, just northwest of Hawesville. The 305,000-square-foot facility on 65 acres has remained vacant the past nine years. Work to rehab the building and property could begin as early as January, with the plant’s opening planned for April 2020. Founded in 2007, WRP will be using a propriety eco-friendly process to manufacture chemicals from a variety of feedstocks.

“WhiteRock Pigments is breathing new life into the community of Hawesville,” said Gov. Matt Bevin. “Companies like WRP are helping Kentucky’s manufacturing industry diversify and strengthen in communities across the state, and we are excited to welcome them to the Commonwealth. The addition of 124 jobs and new economic activity will be a significant boost for the economy of Hancock County, generating momentum for years to come.”

Sen. Joe Bowen, of Owensboro, said WRP will be a good fit for the community.

“I am pleased to welcome WhiteRock Pigments to Hancock County as the company invests nearly $180 million and revamps a local building that has been vacant for almost a decade,” said Sen. Bowen. “With the creation of over 100 new jobs, I know this company will be a great economic partner for our region and I wish it success in all future endeavors.”

To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) has preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $3 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

Additionally, KEDFA approved WRP for up to $300,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.

WRP also can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. In fiscal year 2017, the Kentucky Skills Network provided training for more than 120,000 Kentuckians and 5,700 companies from a variety of industry sectors.

Relocating or Expanding Your Business In Kentucky

Considering Kentucky for your company’s relocation or expansion project? Check out Business Facilities’ Kentucky Incentives and Workforce Development Guide.