Dow Chemical facility coming to Burley

Fortune 50 company Dow Building Solutions announced on Wednesday the selection of Burley for a new Styrofoam production facility.

BURLEY – An insulation manufacturing facility will be making its home in Burley.

The Southern Idaho Economic Development Organization announced Wednesday that Dow Chemical Co. plans to build a 60,000-square-foot facility beginning this year. Manufacturing will begin in 2018 and provide 21 full-time jobs at the height of operation.

The facility, operated by Dow Building Solution, will produce Styrofoam brand insulation.

Walk into a Home Depot or virtually any home improvement store and you’re likely to find Dow Chemicals products, Tim Lacey, Dow’s global business director, said. Those include insulating spray foam sealants for windows and doors, and inch-thick sheets of blue board insulation. Much of the company’s customer base is made up from lumber yards and industrial-commercial properties.

Chemical & Engineering News, a weekly magazine run by the American Chemical Society, publishes annual rankings of the world’s biggest chemical producers. In 2014, it named Dow, which has locations on six continent, second in the world in terms of revenue. That number was more than $58 million.

Doug Manning, Burley’s economic developer, said the company’s future move to the city is a big win not only for the community but for the state as well.

“It continues to not only give us a national presence but an international presence as well,” he said.

But despite the Fortune 50 status, Dow was without a Styrofoam production facility in the West. Starting last fall, leaders with the company worked with Manning, Burley administrator Mark Mitton and others from a local development team when they were looking for a move west of the Rockies.

“Burley is nicely located between where we are in the Rockies and where we want to go,” Lacey said at a Mini-Cassia Chamber of Commerce meet-and-greet on Wednesday.

Where Dow wants to go is close to the Pacific Northwest, Lacey said. The future facility will produce and supply Styrofoam insulation for the western United States and Canada.

“The construction of this new facility will allow us to respond to market demand and deliver sustainable building solutions to our customers,” Lacey said in a statement earlier Wednesday. “The strong collaboration with the city of Burley has been critical to reach this agreement and we look forward to continuing that exemplary collaboration together into the future.”

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Shannon Hemmelgarn, the business project leader for Dow Building Solutions, visited Burley four times during the site selection process. She said she was impressed with the collaboration at the city and state levels, and cited Burley’s leaders for helping Dow familiarize with the area.

Kyla Sawyer, the new director of the Mini-Cassia Chamber of Commerce, said it is crucial to welcome the growth that is continuing in the area. Companies like Dow spur growth in other areas such as retail, she said.

“When a company like this comes in, there’s a trickle down effect,” she said. “Businesses they work with need to eat, go to doctors, get their hair done.”

When the factory is up and running, it will have 21 full-time employees with jobs including site technicians and site leaders. Mitton said the Styrofoam facility’s immediate impact on the city will come from roughly $15 million in private investment, the 80 construction jobs and good benefits and salaries.

“We worked hard on this one and we’re happy they picked Burley,” he said.

Gov. C.L “Butch” Otter praised the city in a statement.

“Dow’s decision to build in Burley speaks volumes about the quality of our workforce, the business-friendliness of our state and communities, and the great diversity that we are developing in Idaho’s economy,” he said. “It’s always great to welcome a new corporate citizen to Idaho, and I’m especially excited about the opportunities for existing Idaho businesses to help meet the supply chain needs of this new enterprise.”

The facility will come online using polymeric flame retardant technology — an invention that is a flame retardant for use in polystyrene foam insulation and meets the demands of energy efficiency regulations and sustainable building design.

“We are thrilled to have a company such as Dow locating in Burley,” Manning said. “They are a world leader in business and innovation, and the immediate and future economic impact on this community will be exceptional. It’s a great ‘win’ for the City of Burley to have a Fortune 50 Company locating here.”

Project completion is targeted for late 2017.

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