A new chemical plant is set to be built on the site of the former Hammermill Paper Company.
Interstate Chemical is expanding their business in the Erie region. The Hermitage, PA-based company (along with subsidiary company, United Erie) is building two new chemical plants directly west of HERO BX, a biodiesel producer, just off East Lake Road.
Interstate Chemical and United Erie are already apart of the Erie community: they own a facility on Chestnut Street where they produce a sodium-based chemical that acts as a catalyst in biodiesel production.
The new proposed chemical plants, one worth $45 million and another worth $15 million, will produce that same sodium chemical.
Interstate is moving closer to HERO BX, so their sodium chemicals arrive quicker and more cost effectively. The move will also cut down on truck traffic to and from Chestnut Street.
The city’s Economic and Community Development Office says Interstate’s expansion in Erie, rather than an exit from the city, proves Erie’s strength in manufacturing.
Interstate is still waiting for a zoning variance to be approved for two of their four distillation columns which exceed the city’s 100 foot ordinance limit. A hearing is scheduled to address that variance request April 12 at 1pm at City Hall.
Interstate expects to have construction on the first plant underway by summer, with completion by the end of this year.
The company expects to create about 50 new jobs, and will retain operations at their Chestnut facility.