Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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November 9, 2012

Plant expansion

Celanese upgrade welcomed

— — The recent announcement of a $150 million investment in the Celanese Corporation’s Giles County plant is welcomed news for the region.

Gov. Bob McDonnell confirmed last week that the Celanese Corporation, a global technology and specialty materials company, will invest $150 million in its Giles County operation. The expansion will enable the facility to create new jobs and improve its energy production capability.

As part of the expansion, the company, which manufactures cellulose acetate tow at the plant, will replace its coal-fired boilers with natural gas-fired boilers. McDonnell said the upgrade, in conjunction with other efforts at the site, will enable the creation of at least 22 full-time Celanese positions.

The project will also create approximately 200 temporary construction jobs at the site.

Giles County competed against global options for the investment, according to McDonnell.

“Celanese is one of the largest employers and offers some of the best-paying jobs in the region,” McDonnell said. “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.”

McDonnell said the Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Giles County and the New River Valley Economic Development Alliance to secure the project for Virginia. McDonnell also approved a $500,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Giles County with the project and a $1.5 million performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program.

The Celenese plant is a Fortune 500 global technology and specialty materials company that 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, according to the governor’s office.

The Giles County plant has been a local employer in our region for 72 years. That’s an impressive record, and one that not many companies can boast of. The expansion project should ensure a continued strong future for the Celanese Corporation.

We join the state in congratulating the Celanese Corporation on its expansion plans — and the welcomed new jobs it will create — for Giles County.

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