Arkema Calvert City Plant

The Arkema Calvert City plant is a chemical plant located in Calvert City, Kentucky. The Calvert City plant produces a type of resin that acts as plastic coating used for wire insulation and the exterior of buildings. Resin produced at the plant is also used in pipe systems and water purification systems, ultimately manufacturing computer chips. The plant also produces refrigerants used in refrigeration equipment, air conditioners, appliances, transportation insulation, and construction. The plant also makes hydrochloric acid used to produce artificial sweeteners and corn syrup. The Arkema plant in Calvert City began operating in 1948 under the care of the Pennsylvania Salt Manufacturing Company. The plant employees 260 people and has since become a vital part of the community, adding approximately $56 million to the local economy. The plant provides dam and lock operations near its location on the banks of the Tennessee River at the heart of one of the most industrialized parts of Kentucky. The Arkema Calvert City plant began manufacturing a type of non-ozone depleting refrigerant in the late 1990s as environmental concerns grew. The plant conforms to the Environmental Management Standard (ISO 14001) and participants in other environmental programs designed to eliminate or reduce waste resulting from production. In 2010, the Arkema Calvert City plant announced that it had secured funding to expand the plant's operations by fifteen percent. The $20 million in funding will allow the plant to produce more resin products. The ultimate goal is to expand the plant's operations and generate more revenue for the area. The plant is looking to explore new methods of production to meet growing global needs. One of these products is extruded film, used in sandwich construction for products such as solar panels. This product is combined with a polyester film to produce the backing on solar panels. The plant is also looking to manufacture new high-molecular-weight grade products used for items such as lithium batteries. Despite the plant’s current commitment to safety, it was built at a time when asbestos was the favored insulation material for factories, power plants, and chemical manufacturing facilities.  Asbestos is highly resistant to heat and corrosion, making it an ideal material for protecting the machinery in chemical plants, but unfortunately, it has some serious consequences for the health of those who worked around it.  Asbestosis and mesothelioma are the most serious of these consequences. References: