A $160 Million State Loan?

State Rep. Eric Watson, at Friday night’s Lincoln Day Dinner at Cleveland High School, announced the Tennessee legislature passed a bill on Friday providing Olin Chlor Alkali Products in Bradley County a $160 million loan for a new state-of-the-art membrane cell manufacturing facility, according to the Cleveland Daily Banner.
The construction will allow Olin to meet federal guidelines on eliminating the use of mercury in its manufacturing process.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty had earlier congratulated Olin on plans to invest the $160 million in its facilities. Construction began in July and is tentatively scheduled for completion by the end of 2012.
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, mercury will not be a part of the manufacturing process.
The Olin facilities will have a capacity of 200,000 tons which will be used to produce chlorine, caustic soda, potassium hydroxide and related products.
Haslam said, “Olin is a well-respected corporate citizen in Bradley County, and we appreciate the company’s continued commitment to invest in the community. 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 Hagerty. “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.”
Olin president Frank Chirumbole said, “We are delighted to make this investment in the Charleston community, which has been home to our plant here since 1962. We are especially grateful to the state of Tennessee, which has provided generous incentives to assist with the financing of the project.”

(Note: Actually, the Legislature did not meet on Friday– unless there was a secret session I missed. Also missed seeing any such loan bill on the floor of either chamber last week.)

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