By Jerry Underwood
Made In Alabama
Finland-based Kemira announced it is investing $70.8 million to expand production at its Mobile facility. The company is a polymer producer serving the pulp and paper, oil and gas, and water treatment industries.
The project will create an additional 20 jobs, growing Kemira’s Mobile workforce by 32 percent, to handle new process operations, increased logistics and the support functions at the site.
“For Kemira this investment is an important step toward the growth objectives outlined in our strategy. It also secures our position as a leading global polymer producer and demonstrates our continued commitment to the oil and gas industry,” said Pedro Materan, senior vice president, Oil & Gas, at Kemira.
Richard Ryder, Kemira’s Mobile plant manager, said construction will begin this year and the expanded plant will be operational in 2021.
“We are expanding on our current footprint and will significantly increase production to meet our customers’ demand in the oil and gas industry,” Ryder said.
‘Renewing a relationship’
The existing site first opened in 1938, initially focused on the area’s lumber and pulp and paper businesses. Over time, Kemira said, the site began serving the wider industrial water treatment industry and, more recently, the oil and gas industry.
Kemira utilizes chemistry to add optimal quality, functionality and strength to paper and board products, ensure the safety and hygiene of water and food packaging, and maximize yield from energy resources.
Mobile is one of three Kemira facilities in the U.S., with others in Columbus, Georgia, and Aberdeen, Mississippi. Kemira’s parent company, Kemira Oyj, is based in Helsinki, Finland, with its Americas headquarters in Atlanta.
“There has been significant growth in the area’s manufacturing and chemical sectors, whose companies historically and continue to provide high-paying jobs for our community,” said Shelby Glover, the Mobile Area Chamber’s senior project manager of economic development. “I look forward to seeing what the future holds for Kemira as they continue to excel in Mobile,”
Local officials welcomed Kemira’s decision to expand its Mobile operation.
“This expansion by Kemira is about more than just jobs – it’s about a global company reinvesting in our city and renewing a relationship that dates back more than 80 years. When existing businesses are thriving in combination with new jobs and investment, that’s a winning formula,” Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson said.
“We are very excited about Kemira’s decision to expand operations in Mobile County to meet customer demand. Their additional $70 million capital investment and 20 jobs further demonstrates Mobile’s growing attraction for foreign direct investment,” said Mobile County Commission President Connie Hudson.
This story originally appeared on the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Made in Alabama website.