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Eastman Plans Kingsport, Tennessee, Methanolysis Facility

01/29/2021
A global leader in plastics, chemicals and fibers, Eastman will build one of the world’s largest methanolysis facilities at its site in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Eastman will invest approximately $250 million in the facility over the next two years, which will support the company’s commitment to addressing global waste solutions and mitigating challenges created by climate change, while also creating value for its stakeholders. Through methanolysis, the new world-scale facility will convert polyester waste that often ends up in landfills and waterways into durable products, creating an optimized circular economy.

“With the growing demand for products made with recycled content and the urgent need to address the global plastic waste crisis, now is the time for Eastman to take this step. We are grateful for our partnership with Governor Lee in making today’s announcement possible. Thanks to the support of the State of Tennessee and our local officials, we are able to build this facility in our home state, which we believe positions Tennessee to be a leader in enabling the circular economy and an example for others to follow. This will be a great investment for our local community and our customers, while also creating small business jobs to develop the recycling infrastructure necessary to support investment in a sustainable future,” said Mark Costa, Eastman Chemical Company board chair and CEO.

The facility, which is expected to be mechanically complete by year-end 2022, will contribute to Eastman achieving its ambitious sustainability commitments for addressing the plastic waste crisis, which includes recycling more than 500 million pounds of plastic waste annually via molecular recycling technologies. The company has committed to recycling more than 250 million pounds of plastic waste annually by 2025.

“Eastman employs more than one-third of the Tennesseans that work in our state’s chemical industry, and we applaud the company for expanding its capabilities in Kingsport while reaffirming its commitment to sustainability. The groundbreaking work done at Eastman’s Sullivan County headquarters makes an international impact, and we are proud that the company continues to grow and invest in Northeast Tennessee,” said TNECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe.

Eastman was one of the pioneers in developing methanolysis technology at commercial scale and has more than three decades of expertise in this innovative recycling process. Eastman’s experience with methanolysis makes it uniquely qualified to be a leader in delivering this solution at commercial scale.

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