Global chemical company Huntsman announces the start up of operations at its brand new color pigments facility in Augusta, Georgia.
Huntsman has invested more than $172 MM (USD) in the development of the new production plant, the first of its kind to be built in North America for more than 35 years. A showcase for world-class pigments manufacturing technology, the new site has the capacity to produce 30,000 metric tons of yellow, red and black iron oxide pigments per annum.
Huntsman is one of the most diversified producers of pigments and additives in the world. Its color pigments are used to transform an array of everyday items from paints, inks, concrete and plastics to cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and even food.
The new facility will serve as the North American hub for Huntsman’s global pigments and additives business, which employs more than 4,500 people worldwide.
Featuring a high level of automation in process operations and in packaging, the plant represents a step change in iron oxide manufacturing. It is innovative in its use of raw materials. With sustainability high on Huntsman’s corporate agenda, the site’s raw material supply chain has been closely integrated with Huntsman’s wider pigments and additives business. This enables the business to use iron sources obtained from waste streams at other plants as inputs at Augusta. Careful infrastructure and asset planning has also eliminated a drying step that is normally present at a stand-alone pigments production plant.
Jan Buberl, Vice President Sales and Marketing, Color Pigments and Timber Treatment at Huntsman, says, “After years of hard work on site, it is incredibly satisfying to see our new pigments plant up and running. Our new facility in Augusta increases our global manufacturing base and will enable us to better meet the needs of customers across the Americas. Producing product closer to their operations means we can offer better delivery times and greater security of supply. It also improves the environmental footprint of our supply chain. Thank you to everyone involved in this project, including the external organizations that helped to make the new plant a reality. Their input was invaluable and we are enormously grateful for their support.”
Third party organizations involved in the development of Huntsman’s new color pigments plant included the City of Augusta; Richmond Economic Development Authority; Georgia Department of Economic Development; Georgia Environmental Protection Division; Augusta Utility Department; Georgia Department of Transportation; Georgia Department of Labor; Georgia QuickStart; and Augusta Technical College.
Huntsman has recruited more than 100 people to work at its new pigments plant. Together, the team will keep the plant running 24/7.