CLEVELAND, Tenn., July 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Cleveland-based Olin Chlor Alkali Products, a division of Olin Corporation (NYSE: OLN), broke ground today at its plant in Charleston, TN, for a new state-of-the-art membrane cell manufacturing facility. Olin is investing $160 million in the new facility, which is scheduled for completion by the end of 2012. When completed, the new facility will produce the highest quality chlorine, caustic soda and related products and have a capacity of 200,000 tons, including an expansion of the plant's production of potassium hydroxide (KOH). The technology change will allow the plant to meet the growing need for KOH that is important to the production of food, fertilizers, herbicides, soaps, detergents, airplane de-icing fluids and other key products. Once installation of the new technology is in place at the Charleston plant in 2012, mercury will not be a part of the manufacturing process.
"We are delighted to make this investment in the Charleston community, which has been home to our plant since 1962," said Frank Chirumbole, president of Olin Chlor Alkali Products. "The Charleston plant is ideally suited to continue meeting the needs of our customers. We are especially grateful to the State of Tennessee, which has provided generous incentives to assist with the financing of the project, including $41 million of tax-exempt variable rate Recovery Zone Facility bonds."
"Olin is a well-respected corporate citizen in Bradley County, and we appreciate the company's continued commitment to and investment in the community," Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam said. "Established Tennessee companies such as Olin provide a solid foundation on which our state's economy will continue to grow."
"After almost 50 years in business, Olin is a great success story for Tennessee," said Bill Hagerty, Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. "My department has renewed its focus on existing industries because we understand they are by far the biggest job creators in the state. My thanks to Olin for choosing to retain these good, high-quality jobs in Tennessee."
Overall in Tennessee, Olin Chlor Alkali Products employs approximately 350 people at the Charleston plant and the company's Cleveland headquarters. Olin's investment in the Charleston plant is expected to generate hundreds of other construction and related jobs in the region. The plant, located on the Hiwassee River, is a key supplier of building block chemicals to many companies in Tennessee and around the world. Its products play a key role in water disinfection and food processing and in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, plastics, paper and electronics. The Charleston plant is one of 10 Olin Chlor Alkali Products facilities in North America.