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Innospec to expand with construction of warehouses and lab

By Liz Moomey
liz.moomey@salisburypost.com

SPENCER — Innospec has begun construction on two warehouses to be completed before the end of the year.

The company, which manufactures chemicals used to make personal care products, is also designing a global technology center to house a laboratory.

“The permits say two 30,000-square-foot warehouses, and that’s actually going on,” said Vic Jameson, the vice president of manufacturing in North America. “We’re in a design phase of a new corporate global technology center. It will take a while to build that, but sometime next year we ought to be occupying it.

“We have been steadily expanding this site and the High Point site over the last 10 years, especially the last five,” Jameson said. “It is a part of a journey that we’ve been on some time.”

Jameson said the company employs about 125 people in North Carolina and the expansion will provide more job opportunities.

“These expansions will bring jobs,” Jameson said. “The city of Spencer, the county of Rowan and the state of North Carolina have been very pro-business. They have been really good, so we have nothing but good things to say about the cooperation of all of this.”

The company has been in a growing phase for the past 10 years, which has made the expansion possible, according to Jameson and Bruce McDonald, president of performance chemicals.

“When Bruce and I met 10 years ago, the stock prices were $5,” Jameson said. “Stock price today is about $80. The company is very healthily growing.”

Jameson said many factors have contributed to the growth but it can be attributed to the success of the products.

“The economy is on a boom,” Jameson. “We put a tremendous amount of effort into R&D, so we’ve had a pipeline of new products that have been growing, growing and growing, so that’s taking effect.

“As you get bigger and bigger, your technology gets better and better, including the bigger companies give you more and more of their business,” he added. “We have an R&D pipeline effect, and we give very good product at a very cost-effective — we’re not the cheapest — but our stuff does a better job in a cost-effective price point.”

With the technology center, which Jameson describes as “wowy-zowy,” the Spencer site will be able to make products for agriculture and grow the personal care and home care products.

“It will be a nice state-of-the-art lab,” McDonald said. “We’ll have chemists in there that do personal care, home care products, sunscreens. We’ll do some ag products.”

Jameson described the impact Innospec has on the personal care business.

“That Dove body wash, anywhere in the world that it goes, the main thing that makes it soapy is made here,” Jameson said.

Another proposed change to the Spencer location is moving the entrance, according to McDonald.

“Hopefully, we’ll have a different approach into the plant,” McDonald said. “We don’t want trucks coming into here and then the warehouse is back there. We’re hoping to come in on a different road. That’s one of the things we talked to the city about.”

For now, the grading has been done and concrete trucks are beginning to come.

For more information about Innospec, visit innospecinc.com.

Contact reporter Liz Moomey at 704-797-4222.

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