Century Old Kingsport Chemical Plant Gets Billion Dollar Facelift With State Help

A massive chemical plant in Northeast Tennessee is about to get bigger.

Eastman's plant and headquarters sit on nearly 4,000 acres in Kingsport. Image Credit: Eastman Chemical Company

Eastman’s plant and headquarters sit on nearly 4,000 acres in Kingsport. Image Credit: Eastman Chemical Company

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

Please keep your community civil. Comments will be moderated prior to posting, and Nashville Public Radio reserves the right to approve them at its discretion. Comments containing links promoting goods, services - even noble organizations - will not be published. Your comments may include external links, but all comments with links will be delayed as they are reviewed. Comments containing profanity will be rejected.