A massive chemical plant in Northeast Tennessee is about to get bigger.
Eastman Chemical started its life as part of Kodak, but was spun off into its own company almost 20 years ago. More than 7,000 work at its massive plant and headquarters in downtown Kingsport.
Eastman officials say they’ll spend more than $1.6 billion to modernize the nearly-century old facility. In the process, they’ll hire 300 workers. The announcement of the expansion is short on specifics, but the Kingsport plant already makes everything from plastics to pill coatings.
The state will chip about $10 million for job training and another $15 million for road and infrastructure improvements around the plant. But it will be several years before Northeast Tennessee sees any benefits from the project. Eastman CEO Jim Rodgers says the expansion won’t be complete until 2020