Protomet Corporation announced that its $30 million, 244,000-square-foot expansion project will take place in Loudon County at the former Maremont production facility. The company says the expansion creates 200 new jobs for East Tennessee.
In early 2017, Protomet announced it needed additional manufacturing space to add new production capabilities and increase the company’s output. Protomet, which was founded in Oak Ridge 20 years ago, has experienced growth in excess of 20 percent annually in recent years. Protomet currently employs 110 people in Anderson County.
“Our initial plan was to build the expansion next to our existing facility,” said Jeff Bohanan, founder and CEO of Protomet. “We acquired the 19.7-acre property next to our current facility from the Department of Energy (the purchase went through the Oak Ridge Industrial Development Board) and immediately started testing that site. At the end of the evaluation, it was clear we could not do the expansion the way it was designed on that land.
“Over the past year, we evaluated properties both inside and outside of Tennessee. The former Maremont facility in Loudon County was the right business decision for Protomet. Even though our plan had been to have a single campus in Anderson County, this was a fantastic option for our company, and it allows Protomet to remain entirely in East Tennessee,” he added. “We will now have facilities in Anderson and Loudon counties – and land next to our current location that will allow for future growth when we need it. It’s a win for everyone involved.”
Bohanan said the former Maremont production facility in Loudon County offered exactly what Protomet needed, provides more space than could have been built on the company’s current land, is a timely solution, and allows the company to continue its rapid rate of growth. It is also centrally and conveniently located for many of Protomet’s customers as the company continues to diversify.
“Protomet has been one of Tennessee’s leading growth companies during the past several years and I’m pleased to see it expand further with this operation in Loudon,” said Gov. Bill Haslam. “East Tennessee’s advanced manufacturing and engineering base continues to grow considerably and the creation of 200 new jobs by Protomet brings us closer to making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”
Protomet worked for more than a year with the Tennessee Department of Economic Development, as well as both the Oak Ridge Industrial Development Board and the Loudon County Economic Development Agency, to make the expansion a reality.
“This is a win for Oak Ridge because our current operations will remain in our existing Anderson County facility,” Bohanan said. “It’s also a big win for Loudon County because it will now be home to our new facility and, eventually, 200 new Protomet employees. We’re excited that we can now call Anderson County and Loudon County home.”
Just four years ago, Protomet more than doubled the size of its Oak Ridge operations when the company opened a $10 million plant expansion that included 22,000 square-feet of new space and automated manufacturing equipment from around the world.
“It’s encouraging to see that Tennessee’s strong workforce and advanced manufacturing expertise continue to provide companies like Protomet the ability to expand and grow their operations,” said TNECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe. “I’m incredibly pleased to welcome 200 new high-quality jobs in Loudon County.”
For more information about Protomet, visit www.Protomet.com.