Gov. Matt Bevin today announced WhiteRock Pigments Inc. will locate a $179 million chemical manufacturing operation in Hancock County, a project expected to create 124 full-time jobs.
“WhiteRock Pigments is breathing new life into the community of Hawesville,” said Gov. Bevin. “Companies like WRP are helping Kentucky’s manufacturing industry diversify and strengthen in communities across the state, and we are excited to welcome them to the Commonwealth. The addition of 124 jobs and new economic activity will be a significant boost for the economy of Hancock County, generating momentum for years to come.”
WRP will locate in the former Alcoa building on River Road in Hancock County, just northwest of Hawsville. The 305,000-square-foot facility on 65 acres has remained vacant the past nine years. Work to rehab and up fit the building and property could begin in January with the plant’s opening planned for April 2020.
“It has been a pleasure to work with the Kentucky economic development folks and the administration in Hancock County,” said Robert Meyer, CEO of WhiteRock. “Their responsiveness, hospitality and can do business attitude is a major contributor to our interest in the Hawesville site. WhiteRock will build a vibrant new enterprise and looks to be a significant contributor to the community”.
Founded in 2007, WRP will be using a propriety eco-friendly process to manufacture chemicals from a variety of feedstocks.
Sen. Joe Bowen, of Owensboro, said WRP will be a good fit for the community.
“I am pleased to welcome WhiteRock Pigments to Hancock County as the company invests nearly $180 million and revamps a local building that has been vacant for almost a decade,” Sen. Bowen said. “With the creation of over 100 new jobs, I know this company will be a great economic partner for our region and I wish it success in all future endeavors.”
Rep. Dean Schamore, of Hardinsburg, noted the significance of WRP locating in an existing facility that has been unoccupied for a number of years.
“I’m proud to welcome WhiteRock Pigments to Hancock County and am certainly grateful that the company is bringing the old Alcoa building back into circulation,” Rep. Schamore said. “I want to thank its leaders for recognizing our outstanding workforce and quality of life, and I appreciate the cooperative effort of our state and local officials.”
Hancock County Judge-Executive Jack McCaslin commended the Hancock County Industrial Foundation and its director, Mike Baker, for diligent work.
“The addition of White Rock Pigments is a tremendous asset to Hancock County by providing 124 new great paying jobs, along with the diversification of our manufacturing industry,” Judge-Executive McCaslin said. “Their revitalization of the old vacant Alcoa building to house the company is just another benefit they bring to our community.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in October preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $3 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
Additionally, KEDFA approved WRP for up to $300,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.
WRP also can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. In fiscal year 2017, the Kentucky Skills Network provided training for more than 120,000 Kentuckians and 5,700 companies from a variety of industry sectors.