Construction for the new chemical plant will begin in September, according to Killeen Economic Development Corporation Executive Director John Crutchfield. He said construction should finish in “late 2018.”
The KEDC announced that MGC Pure Chemicals America will open up a manufacturing plant in a news release Wednesday afternoon.
Japan-based MGC Pure Chemicals America selected Killeen as its next manufacturing plant location over potential locations in San Antonio, Bryan-College Station and Louisiana.
The $30 million plant will produce super-pure hydrogen peroxide, a cleaning chemical used in the semiconductor industry for applications that require stripping, etching and cleaning silicon wafers, according to the release.
Semiconductors are used in various divisions of the technology industry, from defense and automotive to entertainment and communications.
Killeen’s close proximity to Austin, an expanding hub of technology, was a key factor in the company’s decision to come here, Crutchfield said.
The Killeen plant is part of the company’s expansion. It already has plants in Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore. A Mesa, Arizona, plant has been the sole operation in the United States, but the MGC website’s career page lists openings for a plant manager in both Killeen and Hillsboro, Oregon. Hillsboro is 20 miles west of Portland.
The local plant will take up 28 acres in the Killeen Business Park. It is expected to start production in 2019. The company will invest $30 million in land, building, machinery and equipment. The average annual salary will be $66,000 per year, and 28 new jobs are expected to be created over the next five years at the Killeen location.
While Crutchfield expects MGC to hire an experienced plant manager to run the operation, he said that one thing that drew the company to the area was the work force.
“We had a local group to visit with them about various issues, having to do with the site itself, and also the talent,” Crutchfield said. “They were very interested in the workforce available here.”
While Fort Hood is the biggest employer in the Killeen-area, soldiers get of the Army at Fort Hood on daily basis. Many of them have a variety of technical skills, including experience working with chemicals.
Over 10 years, the company is projected to generate about $2.25 million in net benefits for the city, according to KEDC Treasurer Curt Gaines. That’s more than $200,000 a year for the city, if his estimate is correct.
Crutchfield said that number was determined by subtracting costs to the city — such as added police presence, trash removal and waste-water — from the revenue streams to the city, such as utility fees and taxes. He did not have the exact figures in front of him for further break down at the time of Friday’s interview.
The decision to come to Killeen was based upon access to a quality workforce, proximity to an interstate and incentives provided by the EDC, according to the news release.
Among the incentives provided are payment for job creation, reimbursement for infrastructure costs, payment of closing costs and subdividing costs and reimbursement of 50 percent of real property tax payments.