Heraeus Celebrates Expansion in Morgan County

Heraeus Precious Metals, a leader in precious metals recycling, trading and metal management services, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony last Wednesday with customers and government officials to celebrate the completion of a 30,000 square-foot expansion of their Wartburg facility

“This kind of opportunity doesn’t come along very often for Morgan County,” said Lisa Collett, Executive Director at Morgan County Economic Development. “Heraeus and the Economic Board started this two and a half years ago. We have to go through a different process to hire contractors and that took a while, but we finally got everything settled and got this done.”

“The impact on Morgan County cannot be overstated,” state Rep. John Mark Windle added. “I’m so pleased that they have moved their processing facility from New Jersey to Morgan County.

“The reason they did that is the quality of the employees they found in Morgan County. This is a great reflection on Morgan County. I want to thank the county government, the industrial board and the state of Tennessee Department of Economic Development, and certainly the local employees because this is a tremendous boost for Morgan County.”

Among the invited guests in attendance: State Senator Ken Yager; Douglas Berry, the honorary consul for the Federal Republic of Germany for Tennessee; and officials from the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development, including Bob Rolfe, ECD Commissioner; Allen Borden, Deputy Commissioner, Business, Community and Rural Development; Jamie Stitt, Assistant Commissioner of Business and Workforce Development; and Gary Human, East Regional Director.

“You can’t underestimate the significance of this event in terms of the investment today,” Yager said. “It’s a multi-million dollar investment and expansion for a company that’s created at least 20 new jobs that are paying upwards of $20 an hour. This is very significant.”

The multi-million dollar expansion project, which began in the spring of 2016, increases the plant’s pre-processing capacity to meet growing demand from customers in the chemical, electronics, automotive and jewelry industries. Established in 2004, the Heraeus Wartburg plant is a treatment and storage facility for both hazardous and non-hazardous materials containing precious metals.

With customer materials presenting more complex recycling challenges, Heraeus used the plant expansion as an opportunity to make a significant investment in new recycling technologies and capabilities, including specialized converters, furnaces and processing equipment.

“Processing and recovering precious metals has become extremely complex,” Andre Christl, President of Heraeus Precious Metals, said. “But today we have a state-of-the-art facility and a world-class team of talented employees at Wartburg to meet our customers’ recycling challenges. We could not have accomplished it without the support and cooperation we received from Wartburg, Morgan County and Tennessee Economic and Community Development officials.”

One of the newest innovations at Wartburg is its pyrometalurgical recycling converter, which uses a highly-specialized process to recover precious metals faster and more economically. The converter will primarily focus on the recovery of Platinum group metals.

The investment and expansion in Wartburg is part of the company’s global effort to strengthen its position as the world leader in precious metals across the entire life cycle. With a global network of trading offices, processing facilities and recycling sites in Germany, Switzerland, China, South Africa, India, Hong Kong and the United States, Heraeus is the only true worldwide precious metal company serving the global market.

“This company has perfected the technology of pyrometallurgy and precious metals recycling, and they are going to center their efforts right here at the facility in Wartburg,” Yager said. “This is going to put this city and this county on the international map.”

While last week’s ceremony was big for the county, it might not be the last expansion at Heraeus.

“The Economic Development Board owns 17 acres of land next door to here,” Collett said. “Heraeus has already leased that from us and they have big plans for the future.”

“They’ve made a commitment to Morgan County,” Windle added. “I anticipate this is just the beginning to the expansion of Heraeus operations in Morgan County.”

Source: Morgan County News

The East Tennessee Economic Development Agency markets and recruits business for the 15 counties in the greater Knoxville-Oak Ridge region of East Tennessee. Visit www.eteda.org

Published June 8, 2018