COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVES ZONING FOR GREENEVILLE PLANT
THAT WOULD GENERATE NEW JOBS, MILLIONS IN INVESTMENT
Jim Boldt of Austin Powder and Greene County Commissioner Robin Quillen
Greeneville, Tenn. – The Greene County Commission
voted 19-0 today to rezone property to clear the way for a liquid ammonium nitrate
production plant that will create as many as 80 full-time, well-paying jobs and
bring more than $110 million of new capital investment here.
The investment by U.S. Nitrogen, LLC, a wholly-owned
subsidiary of Cleveland, Ohio-based Austin Powder Company, is still subject to approval
of air and water quality permits from the state and federal governments this spring.
Groundbreaking is targeted for later this year.
Plans are for the plant to have state-of-the-art
safety and environmental safeguards to protect workers and sustain the environment
of Greene County. The company will work closely with officials from the Tennessee
Department of Environment and Conservation in equipping the plant.
Gov. Bill Haslam and two of his cabinet members
were in Greeneville to help announce the plant project and welcome U.S. Nitrogen/Austin
Powder as Tennessee’s newest corporate citizen.
“I’m pleased and thankful for Austin Powder’s
investment in Tennessee and the company’s commitment to creating jobs in our state,”
Governor Haslam said. “We’re committed to making Tennessee the Number One location
in the Southeast for high quality jobs, and the jobs announced here today are a
step toward that goal.”
Austin Powder Vice President and Chief Financial
Officer Jim Boldt, who represented the company at the governor’s announcement, said,
“We are hopeful that the permitting process will go well and that we will be operating
in Greene County very soon. The county offers a great workforce, a great business
climate and tremendous transportation accessibility. We look forward to a long and
mutually beneficial relationship with the people here.”
“Austin Powder is a very fine and long-established international company, and we are very pleased they chose Greene County for this important project,” said Tom Ferguson, president and CEO of the Greene County Partnership. “The jobs and investment this will bring will be very important to our economy. We have enjoyed helping to lay the groundwork for this plant and look forward to a long relationship with the company.”
The five-building plant complex would be located
on 400 acres in an area near the intersection of Highway 11E and I-81. If the approvals
are received and discussions with state and local officials go well, the resulting
plant would employ 120 full-time skilled workers during the construction phase.
Construction cost is expected to be between $35 and $40 million.
The plant would produce ammonium nitrate in liquid
form. Commonly known as ANSOL or ANS, ammonium nitrate solution is widely used for
manufacturing liquid fertilizers. It is also used as a raw material in the production
of blasting agents employed in the mining and construction industries.
Austin will transport Greeneville-produced ANSOL
to manufacturing sites in Ohio and elsewhere to be upgraded via proprietary manufacturing
processes into blasting agents suitable for use at customer mines and quarries.
Austin Powder plants and vehicles based in other states have excellent safety records,
federal records show.
The plant will employ between 20 and 30 highly
trained drivers who will follow the company’s strict operation guidelines. All Austin
Powder trucks are monitored remotely by the company.
Austin Powder, Inc., headquartered in Cleveland,
has been operating since 1833. Its employees enjoy excellent benefits, and the company’s
worker-friendly policies tend to ensure long-lasting relationships with employees.
The average longevity of employees at the company’s plant in southern Ohio, for
instance, is more than 20 years.