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Olin Breaks Ground On $160M Tenn. Plant

The company announced last year they would build a new facility at the site to change production techniques due to concerns over environmental mercury contamination.

CHARLESTON, Tenn. (AP) -- Chemical manufacturer Olin Chlor Alkali Products broke ground this week on a new manufacturing facility in Charleston valued at $160 million that will allow the company to produce chlorine, caustic soda and other products without mercury.

Olin has had a plant in Charleston for almost 50 years, but the presence of mercury created environmental concerns. The company announced last year they would build a new facility at the site to change production techniques.

Olin Corp. President Frank Chirumbole told employees, retirees and company officials on Friday during the ground breaking that the time had come to update their manufacturing processes.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports the new facility will expand the plant's production of potassium hydroxide, a component of food processing, fertilizers, herbicides, soaps, detergents and airplane de-icing fluids.

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