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Eastman chooses Longview for new manufacturing facility

Eastman Chemical Co. announced Monday that it will invest more than $1.2 billion to build its second U.S. molecular recycling facility just outside of Longview in Harrison County.

The project will mark the single-largest capital investment in the history of the Longview Economic Development Corp., according to LEDCO.It also will create more than 200 full-time jobs as well as another 1,000 temporary jobs during construction, according to information from Gov. Greg Abbott’s office

No firm timeline for construction has been set.

“We have been targeting mechanical completion in the 2026/2027 timeframe,” Eastman said in a statement. “However, we will be expanding the scope of the project to include thermal batteries and solar energy. We will be working through the details and then refining the timeline and will provide an update when appropriate.”

Eastman had announced a little more than a year ago that Longview was under consideration for the new facility, but other locations also were in the running. Eastman reported earlier this month that its first molecular recycling facility, in Kingsport, Tennessee, is ramping up production and already generating revenue.

The Longview project will include operations that will prepare mixed plastic waste for processing, Eastman’s next-generation molecular recycling unit to depolymerize waste and a polymer facility to create virgin-quality materials for packaging and textiles, according to LEDCO.

The new Longview facility will have the capacity to annually recycle about 110,000 metric tons of hard-to-recycle plastic waste.

In addition to the Longview facility, Eastman also plans to invest in a molecular recycling plant in France.

The U.S. Department of Energy selected Eastman’s Longview project for up to $375 million in funding.

“Eastman’s planned project in Longview is aligned with the (department’s) goal of catalyzing industry-wide change to a low-carbon future,” according to the company.

“We are excited to build our second U.S. world-scale molecular recycling facility at our existing site in Texas,” said Mark Costa, board chair and CEO, in a statement. “The plant will remove significant waste from the region, enable true circularity and set a new benchmark for decarbonization. We have decades of history successfully operating in Longview, and this will be a great investment for the local community.”

Along with the investment in the new Longview plant, Eastman committed to about $20 million in grants for its Community Benefits Plan, which will include an expansion of its apprenticeship program .

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