German company to start operations at former DuPont plant in Chattanooga
A German company has bought 28 acres of the former DuPont plant site in Chattanooga where it plans to manufacture a product used in the plastics industry.
Naprotec LLC, a subsidiary of Germany-based Nabaltec Group, also acquired 85,000 square feet in building space and intends to invest $9 million in equipment, said Mike Klimes, the company's chief operating officer.
The company paid $3.15 million for the property, according to Hamilton County property records. Naprotec bought 24 acres from Invista, which had earlier acquired the DuPont site, and another four acres from Kordsa Inc., which makes nylon fiber at the North Access Road facility.
Last year, Kordsa bought the manufacturing operations of Invista.
Klimes said initial plans are to employ four to six people making hydroxides used in fire retardant plastics, but that number could grow to 20 to 25 employees in future phases of production.
He said the company sees the potential of providing products used in electric vehicles.
"There's increasing interest in full electric or hybrid vehicles," Klimes said. "We see great opportunity."
Volkswagen officials have said they plan to launch 50 new electric models and 30 new hybrids by 2025 and create electric versions of its entire range of more than 300 models by 2030.
In Chattanooga, where VW has an assembly plant, officials there hope to land some of that electric vehicle production in the future.
Antonio Pinto, chief executive of VW's Chattanooga operation, said in an earlier interview the automaker wants to be "much more successful than Tesla in the long run."
Klimes said Naprotec's Chattanooga operation is close to VW but also to those of other German auto assembly plants such as Mercedes outside Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and BMW outside Greenville, South Carolina.
By Mike Pare, Times Free Press Read More