Eastman investing $1.6 billion in Tennessee headquarters

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: June 13, 2013 12:39 pm ET
Updated: June 13, 2013 12:43 pm ET

Image By: Eastman Chemical Co. Jim Rogers, chairman and CEO of Eastman Chemical Co. (left) and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Materials Suppliers
Companies & Associations Eastman Chemical Co.

Eastman Chemical Co. is embarking on a seven-year, $1.6 billion expansion of its headquarters site in Kingsport, Tenn.

The expansion — known as Project Inspire — will create 300 new jobs and will include a new office building as well as increased warehouse capacity, technology expansions and improvements to the site's infrastructure, energy efficiency and safety and environmental performance, officials said. The project is expected to be completed in 2020 — the 100th anniversary of Eastman's presence in Kingsport.

"This represents a landmark capital investment that will modernize and expand our largest manufacturing site and corporate campus here in Kingsport," Chairman and CEO Jim Rogers said in a May 29 news release. "I can think of no better way to honor our long-term commitment to this site and surrounding community than through this very significant investment in our future."

Eastman employs 7,000 — just over half of its global total — in Kingsport and ranks as one of the state's largest employers. In the release, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said that Eastman "has been crucial to the state's economy, growing into a global brand, and today's announcement means they will continue to grow right here where they started."

The state will provide partial funding for the corporate campus expansion and road infrastructure improvements, as well as a grant to meet advanced manufacturing training needs at the state's Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing in Kingsport. In a June 12 phone interview, Eastman spokeswoman Tracy Kilgore said that the firm "will be able to maximize its tax credits" for the project.

Kilgore added that Eastman's Tritan-brand copolyester business also will benefit from the expansion, but no details were available. Administration and production for Tritan both are based in Kingsport.

The new expansion was announced not long after Eastman completed Project Reinvest, a $1.3 billion site improvement project that it launched in Kingsport in 2007.

Eastman Kodak Co. established a production site in 1920 when it needed a domestic source for raw materials used in its photography business. Eastman Chemical was spun off as a separate company in 1990.

Eastman has annual sales of about $9 billion, including its recent purchase of specialty chemicals maker Solutia. In 2012, sales in Eastman's adhesives and plasticizers unit grew almost 4 percent, but sales in the firm's advanced materials unit — including Tritan and Solutia's polyvinyl butral (PVB) products slipped almost 3 percent.

Combined sales were flat in the first quarter of 2013, but Eastman's profit jumped almost 60 percent to almost $250 million when compared to the same quarter in 2012.

Eastman's per-share stock price began the year around $68 and has bounced between $65 and $74. It was near $69 in early trading June 12.


Comments

Eastman investing $1.6 billion in Tennessee headquarters

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: June 13, 2013 12:39 pm ET
Updated: June 13, 2013 12:43 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Minnesota receives grant to help develop new bioplastics

September 17, 2014 4:08 pm ET

The University of Minnesota has received a $20 million grant to fund the development of new types of bioplastics.    More

Image

China's Polymax Elastomer launches U.S. production in Illinois

September 17, 2014 3:35 pm ET

Chinese materials maker Polymax Elastomer Technology Co. Ltd. has opened a North American production site and headquarters in Waukegan, Ill.    More

Image

PolyOne helps nonprofit get water purification to more places in need

September 17, 2014 1:59 pm ET

Resin giant PolyOne Corp. is teaming up with WaterStep, a non-profit water purification agency, to help the group assist a greater number of disaster ...    More

Image

ACI expanding in South Carolina

September 17, 2014 12:56 pm ET

Reprocessor and recycler ACI Plastics Inc. is expanding in South Carolina.    More

Image

Symphony Environmental defends biodegradable plastics in recycling stream

September 17, 2014 11:47 am ET

Symphony Environmental Technologies plc, one of the world's largest oxo-biodegradable technology companies, has responded to a leading Mexican recycle...    More

Market Reports

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events