Kraton's $40 million Innovation Center, new to its Belpre site, is great news for Washington County.
In addition to the 12 new jobs it creates, it shows Kraton's commitment to improving products for its clients, and a commitment to growing business in the Mid-Ohio Valley.
According to the company, the new center will take new polymer products developed in Kraton labs in Amsterdam, Shanghai and Houston and manufacture them in the amounts necessary for clients to test them out in their own products. If successful, production can then move to the main Belpre plant. This new system is said to be the first of its kind in the industry and will give Kraton an advantage over competitors.
Kraton officials said this week they chose Belpre for this effort because of the people and the standard of work they do at the local plant. There are currently 400 employees at Kraton in Belpre and another couple hundred in contractors working there.
In addition to the $40 million investment for the innovation center, Kraton is also in the middle of a $50 million investment to convert the Belpre plant's boiler system from coal to natural gas.
We're glad Kraton continues to grow in Washington County. We're sure they won't be sorry they chose to invest in Belpre and its plant time and time again.