During Monday’s press conference, Gov. Jim Justice announced that Klockner Pentaplast (kp), a German company with American headquarters in Gordonsville, Va., is investing $8.5 million in Raleigh County to expand its operation into Beaver, adding thermoforming capabilities to aid the growth of their sustainable food tray offerings to the North America market.
The company’s expansion will create 21 new jobs for Raleigh County.
According to the company’s website, kp is an innovator, designer, and manufacturer of sustainable solutions (plastics) and supports the continuous, increased demand for a higher percentage of post-consumer recycled content (PCR) in various food, consumer and health packaging applications.
“Our experts create innovative films and trays that provide product safety, help avoid food waste, safeguard medication and medical devices, and protect the integrity of countless durable products.”
Founded in 1965 in Montabaur, Germany, the company has 32 plants in 18 countries and employs nearly 6,000 people.
With global sales exceeding $2 billion, the company is a leader in sustainability, working to eliminate plastic waste and pollution.
In 2000, Klockner Pentaplast began operations from the Industrial Park at Beckley-Raleigh County Memorial Airport.
Justice thanked the company for all the years they have been in the state and thanked them for choosing to expand their business in West Virginia.
Kp first announced their decision to expand in August. A key element in the company choosing Beaver as its new location was the development of a broadband expansion project at the Raleigh Memorial Airport that occurred earlier this year.
The $643,999 in federal funding, which was given in the form of a Community Development Block Grant, helped implement a continuous fiber loop that encompasses Industrial Park.
The program was fostered by airport manager Tom Cochran and New River Gorge Regional Development Authority Executive Director Jina Belcher.
Raleigh Commission President, David Tolliver said that this expansion would not have been possible without the support of Cochran and Belcher. He also thanked Gov. Justice for the funding used to execute the fiber loop project.
“We haven’t forgot the grant that you gave us…Governor, we appreciate it very much. Thank you for what you do for Raleigh County and we’re going to continue to move forward.”
Before turning the conference over to kp representative Mark Gonyar, Gov. Justice spoke of this great opportunity.
“This is truly a great day and a terrific announcement…Expansions like this are just more evidence of all the goodness we have going on right now in West Virginia,” the governor said, calling West Virginia “a diamond in the rough.”
Gonyar stated that the great workforce in West Virginia, as well as the state’s infrastructure for transportation and the access the company has to its customer base made the state a “prime location” for kp to invest and expand.
According to Gonyar, the Beaver site will produce products involved with the case-ready fresh protein market, as the company has seen a growth in that area of business.
He continued, explaining that equipment upgrades will allow the company to convert large quantities of post-consumer PT flake into high-quality, safe food packaging.
“This is a wonderful announcement of new investment of new jobs, but it’s also further evidence that West Virginia is a player and that we are attracted to new investment, to new job creation” said West Virginia Secretary of Commerce Ed Gaunch.
“It’s also further evidence of our desire… to diversify our economy. Its great new for Raleigh County, great news for the region, great news for West Virginia.”
Belcher agreed, stating that these new jobs will not only create a huge economic impact in Raleigh County but the entire New River Gorge region.