BELPRE - In 2010 Kraton Polymers saw growth with a year-long construction expansion finished and the expansion of production to polyisoprene rubber.
One piece of growth was the $7 million construction that modernized the lab and office space at the Belpre facility on Ohio 7.
The new facility was completed and ready for use in the summer. Construction began in late August and early September 2009.
The plant is also currently in the first $12 million phase of the polyisoprene project, which is expected to take five years and cost a total of $40 million.
While the two projects will not create permanent jobs within Kraton, more than a hundred temporary jobs have been created with the building project with 23 different contractors working and more than 100 craftsmen hired to construct the building on-site.
Last July, Kraton announced it would be hiring for 37 positions at the local facility for the new production of polyisoprene rubber. The new jobs included 25 operator and 12 technical and professional positions.
The expansion of the workforce was not because of an Ohio grant, but because more employees were needed to keep up with the increased demand for products, officials said.
The plant produces styrenic block copolymer (SBC), which is in items such as diapers, tapes, motor oil, adhesives and sealants, and is expecting to add production of polyisoprene rubber, which was announced with a $27 million investment into the plant.
The polyisoprene rubber was previously made at the Belpre plant and production was moved to another Kraton facility.
Modifications and upgrades to the plant associated with the new line started in 2010, according to officials, who also said the project should be complete by the middle of this year.
A world-leading manufacturer of engineered polymer, Kraton's Belpre plant employs about 500 employees and contractors and is the largest styrenic thermoplastic elastomer production facility in the world. The plant initially opened in 1961 as part of Shell Chemical.