by Veronica Garabelli
A big-name company is coming to Hopewell, and it’s making a deal with one of the area’s top players, Honeywell.
In a 15 year-agreement, industrial gas company Praxair will purchase carbon dioxide from Honeywell (a byproduct of Honeywell’s caprolactam plant in Hopewell). Praxair will lease land from Honeywell to build a plant where the carbon dioxide will be purified, liquefied and sold to customers, said Kristen McCarthy, marketing communications representative for Praxair, in an email. According to McCarthy, the new plant is opening next year and is expected to create approximately 20 jobs, including managers, technicians and drivers.
Hopewell’s economic development director Andrew Hagy says it’s beneficial to have an international company like Praxair come to town.
“Small or large companies are welcome, but a lot of these international companies … their contacts and relationships extend throughout the world, so, it’s always good to have corporate representatives like that out there, with that relationship with the city, and if the opportunity introduces itself, hopefully, they will recommend the city to another corporation.”
Praxair, based in Danbury, Conn., is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America. It has 26,000 employees in more than 50 countries, according to its website. The company produces, sells and distributes atmospheric, process and specialty gases, and high performance surface coatings.
Honeywell Resins and Chemicals is one of the world’s largest producers of nylon resin and caprolactam, a critical feedstock used for nylon production. The company also produces chemical intermediates and is one of the world’s largest producers of ammonium sulfate fertilizer. Honeywell is a Fortune 100 company with 132,000 employees worldwide.
Hagy says the fact that Honeywell had a product that Praxair could buy helped bring the company to Hopewell. There are other factors that helped put the “icing on the cake,” says Hagy, including offering Praxair a machinery and tool tax credit as part of Virginia’s enterprise zone program.
McCarthy said in an email that CO2 can be used in carbonated beverages and frozen foods where it improves the quality and efficiency of freezing. It can also be used to control pH in wastewater.
Praxair had a similar deal with Osage Bio Energy more than two years ago that never materialized. Osage was supposed to open a barley-to-ethanol factory in Hopewell, but put its plant up for sale last year before it ever opened.
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