Plant to add 2,000 jobs near Chester
By Staff Reports
Jun 20, 2014, 10:52
CHESTERFIELD — A massive new paper and fertilizer plant is set add 2,000 jobs near Chester by 2020.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Wednesday at the Virginia State Capitol that Shandong Tranlin Paper Co., a leading Chinese pulp and paper company will invest $2 billion over five years to establish its first U.S. advanced manufacturing operation. The investment represents the largest Chinese investment and job creation project in Virginia history and is the largest Chinese greenfield economic development project in the United States. Virginia successfully competed against several other states for the project.
“Advanced manufacturing jobs are the heart of a strong and growing 21st century economy, and this investment symbolizes the economic recovery taking place across the nation, and will be transformational for the economy of Chesterfield County and the surrounding region,” McAuliffe said at the announcement.
Tranlin’s new manufacturing facility in the paper and fertilizer sectors will be located on an 850-acre campus in the James River Industrial Center. The plant will be between Interstate 95 and the James River just north of Route 288.
Based on analysis performed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension, the economic benefits of this operation will be felt throughout the agriculture sector, from new demand for agricultural equipment, to new jobs for direct and indirect agricultural jobs.
“Tranlin represents a tremendous opportunity for Virginia’s corn and small grain producers by creating a lucrative new market for agricultural residuals that are typically left in the field,” said Todd Haymore, Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry. “Based on the agricultural supply chain opportunities associated with the project, the economic benefit to farmers in this region alone could exceed $50 million per year once the project is complete and operating at full capacity.”
In addition, this project will help preserve farmland by providing farmers a new opportunity to derive additional economic return from their land and equipment, creating positive economic pressure to maintain it in farming use. The harvest of straw in the spring and corn stalks in the fall for use by Tranlin will be two new cash crops for Virginia producers, in addition to other fibrous products from the surrounding area.
“The scope and reach of this project is enormous and has significant impacts on both the business and agriculture communities,” said Jay Stegmaier, County Administrator for Chesterfield County.
State officials said the harvest of these agricultural residuals is compatible with the Chesapeake Bay-friendly no-till crop production practices these producers are already using. Tranlin said it prides itself on a process that leads to environmentally friendly water usage and will discharge clean water.
“Virginia has abundant resources of agricultural stalks, power and water supply, manpower, and a strong transportation system—all necessary tools that guarantee Tranlin’s future development. More importantly, the Virginia team’s flexibility, patience, teamwork, cooperation, and above all, passion for foreign investment, factored into our decision,” said Hongfa Li, Chairman and President, Shandong Tranlin Paper Co., Ltd.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Chesterfield County, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Greater Richmond Partnership, Dominion Virginia Power, and the Virginia Port Authorityto secure the project for Virginia. Governor McAuliffe approved a $5 million grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Chesterfield County with the project. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
The company may be eligible to receive a Major Employment and Investment custom performance grant, subject to approval by the General Assembly.