Celanese Corporation, a technology and specialty materials company, will invest $150 million to transform and upgrade its Giles County, Virginia, manufacturing plant.
The firm, which manufactures cellulose acetate tow, will replace its coal-fired boilers with natural gas-fired boilers. The project, in conjunction with other efforts at the site, will create at least 22 full-time Celanese positions and will approximately 200 construction jobs at its plant located at 3520 Virginia Avenue in Narrows, Virginia, a town of 2,000 residents in the western part of the Commonwealth.
"Celanese is excited about the opportunity this project represents, particularly in the areas of improved reliability and favorable progress against our environmental and sustainability goals. We appreciate the support from Virginia and Giles County to help make this investment possible," said Lou Purvis, vice president, general manager, Celanese Acetate. "We are proud of our 72 year history in the county and this project which will help ensure our future success."
The specialty materials company engineers and manufactures a wide variety of products included in end-use application, such as; paints and coatings, textiles, automotive applications, consumer and medical applications, filter media, paper and packaging, chemical additives, construction, and consumer and industrial adhesives. Its Giles County plant, in operation since 1939, is one of the world's largest producers of cellulose acetate tow.
Gov Bob McDonnell said Virginia competed against global options for this Giles County investment. "Celanese is one of the largest employers and offers some of the best-paying jobs in the region. Converting the Giles County facility to natural gas demonstrates that the company is really investing in the future of the operation. This tremendous investment will allow the plant to improve its energy production capability, while positioning Celanese for profitable growth and job creation in the years ahead. The company is essential to the economic vitality of the area, and I am confident that this upgrade guarantees Celanese's continued viability and success in the New River Valley,” the Governor said.
"This project is significant for both Celanese and Giles County," said Jim Cheng, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade. "Natural gas is a cleaner energy source, thus reducing the company's carbon footprint. And this significant investment helps ensure that Giles County will retain a valued employer and corporate partner and gain an additional 22 well-paid positions."
As an incentive, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Giles County and the New River Valley Economic Development Alliance to secure the project for Virginia. Governor McDonnell approved a $500,000 grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist Giles County with the project. Governor McDonnell also approved a $1.5 million performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program, an incentive available to existing Virginia companies.