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Our Plastics/Chemicals Cluster

  • 18,832 people in our labor shed are employed in advanced materials
  • Eastman's World Headquarters is located in Sullivan County employing more than 7,000 people.
  • Eastman announced a $1.6 billion investment in their Sullivan County facility creating 350 more jobs in 2013.
  • Domtar Corporation makes high end sheet rolled paper in Sullivan County.
  • BAE has an explosives manufacturing plant in Sullivan County
  • We have an industrial site with rich infrastructure including rail access, Partnership Park 2, which is ideal for a Plastics/Chemical facility.
  • We export over $15 billion of manufactured product per year from our labor shed, the majority of which are in the chemical/plastics industry
  • We have more employees in the following sectors than the average US labor shed by the pecentages listed:
    • 2,240% more explosives manufacturing
    • 1,290% more rubber product manufactruing for mechanical uses
    • 916% more artificial and synthetic fibers and filaments manufacturing
    • 194% more plastic pipe and pipe fitting manufacturing
    • 178% more plastics material and resin manufacturing
    • 106% more pesticides and other agricultural chemical manufacturing
    • 100% more adhesive manufacturing
    • 64% more polystyrene foam manufacturing
    • 42% more urethane and other foam products
    • 6% more plastic plumbing fixtures manufacturing
  • The University of Tennessee in Knoxville has a Polymer engineering program
  • Sullivan County is located in a Foreign Trade Zone


Who’s Here

Eastman Focus

  • Eastman is a global specialty chemical company that produces a broad range of advanced materials, additives and functional products, specialty chemicals, and fibers that are found in products people use every day.
  • It provides coatings, adhesives and specialty plastics products, is a major supplier of cellulose acetate fibers, and produces PET polymers for packaging.


Domtar Focus

  • Domtar makes high end sheet-rolled paper in Sullivan County.
  • Annual paper production capacity of 414,000 tons.
  • Annual pulp production capacity of 282,000 tonnes.
  • 1 pulp line and 1 paper machine.

    BAE Focus

    • BAE makes explosives on a 1200 acre site in Sullivan County
    • 500 employees


    Our companies include:

    • 10 Pharmaceutical Preparation Manufactureres
    • 7 Rubber Product Manufacturers for Mechanical Uses
    • 5 Artificial and Synthetic Fibers and Filaments Manufacturers
    • 4 Polystyrene Foam Product Manufactureres
    • 4 Urethane and Other Foam Product Manufacturers
    • 3 Plastic Material and Resin Manufacturers
    • 3 Plastics Pipe and Pipe Fitting Manufacturers
    • 3 Unlaminated Plastics Profile Shape Manufacturers
    • 3 Mold Manufacturers
    • 3 Basic Inorganic Chemical Manufacturers
    • 2 Adhesives Manufacturers
    • 2 Explosives Manufacturers
    • 2 Custom Compounding of Purchased Resins Manufacturers
    • 2 Pesticide and other Agricultural Chemical Manufacturers
    • 2 Fertilizer Manufacturers
    • 2 Plastic Plumbing Fixture Manufacturers
    • 1 Plastic Bottle Manufacturer
    • 15 all other plastic product manufacturers


    Rail Access

    • Sullivan County has Class I rail access via the NS and CSX main rail lines.



     Click here for more on transportation


    Cheap Electric Power

    • We are served by TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) and AEP (American Electric Power, an S&P 500 Company)
    • AEP ranks among the nation's largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation's largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile (63,000 km)-network that includes 765 kilovolt ultra-high voltage transmission lines, more than all other U.S. transmission systems combined.
    • TVA's power mix as of 2012 is 11 coal-powered plants, 29 hydroelectric dams, three nuclear power plants (with six operating reactors), nine simple cycle natural gas plants, and five combined cycle gas plants.  In 2012 coal generation was about 32% of total, nuclear 34%, hydro 9%, and (owned) gas 11%.
    • The average industrial rate for electricity in Tennessee is one of the top-10 lowest states in the US
    • TVA is one of the largest operators of electric transmission in the US with an approximately 16,000-mile (26,000 km) corridor of transmission (13,000 miles (21,000 km) of which is greater than 161kv).


    Natural Gas Pipelines

    • Sullivan County is served by Atmos Energy, additionally each of our industrial parks have natural gas served by Atmos Energy
    • Atmos Energy Corporation is one of the country's largest natural-gas-only distributors, serving over three million natural gas distribution customers in over 1,400 communities in eight states.
    • Additionally, Spectra Energy (S&P 500 Company) owns and operates the East Tennessee Natural Gas Transmission gas pipeline which runs through Sullivan County.  East Tennessee Natural Gas connects with the Texas Eastern Transmission line in Nashville, a major natural gas pipeline also owned by Spectra which brings gas from the Gulf of Mexico all the way to the Northeast United States.

    • With 1,515 miles of pipeline, East Tennessee can deliver 1.75 Bcf/d of gas per day.  The pipeline interconnects with the following major interstate transmission lines: Transco System, Texas Eastern Transmission, Tennessee Gas Pipeline, Columbia Gulf, Southern Natural Gas, and Midwestern Gas Transmission.

    • East Tennessee's liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage facility is located in Sullivan County providing about 11 percent of East Tennessee's peak day requirements.



    Water & Wastewater

    •  Sullivan County has more than 8 million gallons per day of excess water and wastewater capacity


    Engineering Talent

    • Our labor shed is home to the following number of engineers
      • 924 industrial engineers
      • 776 mechanical engineers
      • 397 electrical engineers
      • 227 chemical engineers
      • 90 materials scientist
    • Additionally, over 600 engineers graduate from Colleges within our labor shed per year


    Skilled Labor

    • Under 3.5% of employees in Sullivan County are a member of a union
    • Tennessee is a Right-To-Work state
    • 18,832 people in our labor shed are employed in advanced materials
    • Our labor shed has the following skilled labor:
      • 6,111 team assemblers
      • Over 5,500 maintenance and repair workers
      • 1,793 packers and packagers, hand
      • 1,734 first line production supervisors
      • 1,209 machinists
      • 1,034 packaging, painting, and spraying machine operators
      • 706 chemical equipment operators
      • 432 chemical plant and systems operators


    Chemical Process Operations Program

     A Chemical Process Operations program with 28 credit hours is offered at the Regional Center for Advanced Manfacturing with the following classes:


    • Introduction to Chemistry
    • General Chemistry I
    • Quality and Inspection
    • Industrial Concepts
    • Equipment I
    • Equipment II
    • Intermediate Algebra
    • General Chemistry I
    • General Chemistry II
    • Safety in the Workplace
    • Applied Physical Science
    • Basic Instrumentation
    • Technical Elective

    Click here for more information on RCAM's Chemical Process Operations program

    Click here for more information on Workforce Training


    Colleges and Universities Support


    • The University of Tennessee in Knoxville has a number specific programs to support Plastics/Chemicals
      • They have undergraduate and graduate degrees in chemical and polymer engineering
      • #5 Engineering Physics School in the USA, according to best-engineering-colleges.com
      • #16 Materials Engineering Schools in the USA, according to best-engineering-colleges.com


    • Virginia Tech also has a number specific programs to support Plastics/Chemicals
      • Virginia Tech is the 13th best engineering college in the USA, according to best-engineering-colleges.com
      • They have undergraduate and graduate degrees in chemical engineering and Interdisciplinary Macromolecules and Interfaces Institute (MII), integrating macromolecular and interfacial sciences and engineering. MII includes state-of-the-art testing equipment, including thermoplastic polymer extruders, an injection molding unit, a compression modeling unit, a thermoforming unit and a film system. Additional polymer and composite processing equipment is also available


    • East Tennessee State University is located in the Tri Cities and has an enrollment of 15,536
      • East Tennessee State University has a Manufacturing of Engineering Technology Bachelors program



    Construction Costs

    • According to RSMeans Construction Cost Data, Sullivan County is cheaper than the following:
      • $22/sq. ft. cheaper than the US average to build a manufacturing facility and $16/sq. ft. cheaper to build a warehouse
      • $9/sq. ft. cheaper to build a manufacturing facility than in Nashville and $6/sq. ft. cheaper to build a warehouse than in Nashville
      • $11/sq. ft. cheaper to build a manufacturing facility than in Atlanta and $8/sq. ft. cheaper to build a warehouse than in Atlanta
      • $13/sq. ft. cheaper to build a manufacturing facility than in Lexington, Kentucky and $10/sq. ft. cheaper to build a warehouse than in Lexington, Kentucky
      • $15/sq. ft. cheaper to build a manufacturing facility than in Cincinnati, Ohio, and $11/sq. ft. cheaper to build a warehouse than in Cincinnati, Ohio


    Buildings and Sites

    Partnership Park II

    Phipps Bend Industrial Park

    • 204 Acres
    • Norfolk Southern Railroad
    • 138 Additional Acres Available

    Click Here for More Information


    Support Services

    • 184 Electrical Contractors
    • 98 Industrial Machinery and Equipment Merchants
    • 67 Machine Shops
    • 36 General Warehousers
    • 35 Industrial Supply Wholesalers
    • 13 Tool and Die Companies
    • 10 Electroplating, Polishing, and Anodizing Manufacturers
    • 5 Hazardous Waste Treatment and Disposal Companies
    • 4 Machine Tool Manufacturers


    Low Natural Disaster Risk

    • According to usa.com, Sullivan County has a 34.60 Tornado Index which is much lower than the US average of 136.45 and Tennessee’s average of 175.35
    • According to usa.com, Sullivan County has a 0.16 Earthquake Index compared to a US average of 1.81.


    Additional Information



    Source of Business and Labor Numbers:  Troy University

    Our Community

    Sullivan County, Tennessee is home to companies and attractions known around the world.  Browse our website to learn all the reasons you should join Eastman, Bell Helicopter, Domtar, Teleperformance, Home Shopping Network, Bristol Motor Speedway, and many others by locating a facility in Sullivan County!


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      10368 Wallace Alley St., Suite 1, Kingsport, TN 37663
    PO Box 747, Blountville, TN 37617

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