Koppers will be investing more than $20 million into its Arkansas operations and increasing its workforce in North Little Rock.
The Pittsburgh, Penn.-headquartered company announced that it is committing at least $23 million to upgrade its North Little Rock facility. In addition, Koppers plans to increase its workforce, which currently numbers around 80 employees.
According to an Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) news release, Koppers’ investment is aimed at new construction for the North Little Rock facility as well as purchasing new equipment to modernize its processes.
“Koppers has been a reliable contributor to Arkansas’ economy for decades,” Secretary of Commerce and Executive Director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) Mike Preston, said in a statement. “Koppers directly serves one of the most prominent railroads in the state and sources many of its materials from timber production sites across the state. I appreciate Koppers’ continued investment in Arkansas.”
This investment comes as Koppers transitions its production volumes from a Denver facility to the North Little Rock facility. Koppers previously announced its plans to consolidate its business footprint and will be discontinuing its Denver production activities by Aug. 31, 2020.
According to a Koppers release, the $23 million investment will be funded through the sale of the Denver facility and tax/economic incentives from the state of Arkansas.
Founded in 1988, Koppers produces carbon compounds, chemicals and treated wood products for a range of industries, including the utility, rubber, steel, residential lumber, agriculture, railroad and aluminum industries. Specifically, the company distills coal tar and manufactures carbon pitch, refined tar, creosote, carbon black feedstock and chemical oils.
The railroad industry is one of Koppers’ primary industry partners, and according to its corporate website, the company is the “largest provider of railroad crossties for the Class I Railroads…”
At the North Little Rock facility, Koppers produces and treats more than 1.5 million wooden railroad crossties annually. Switch ties, road crossings and framed bridge timbers are also produced at the facility.