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Lawrence seeks grants to boost manufacturing

October 6, 2018

HAVERHILL, Ohio — The Greater Lawrence County Area Chamber of Commerce is in the process of seeking $750,000 in grants for the Southern Ohio Industrial District and businesses like Innventure and PureCyce Technologies, which is developing a $200 million plastics recycling business.

Lawrence County is seeking $500,000 in community development block grant funds and $250,000 in Appalachian Regional Commission funds to develop the former Dow Chemical site at 925 County Road 1A west of Hanging Rock, according to Bill Dingus, chamber executive director.

Several hundred people, including a busload of students from Collins Career Center, were on hand Thursday afternoon as part of Manufacturing Day activities at the site of Innventure’s pilot plant, which currently employs about 10 people and should be fully operational later this fall, according to Mike Otworth, chief executive officer for Innventure and PureCycle Technologies.

Once the pilot plant is up and running, construction will begin on PureCycle’s $200 million plastic recycling business that is expected to be operational in late 2020 or early 2021, Otworth said. The plant will provide about 70 jobs to the Tri-State economy, he said.

“We’re very pleased with the good things going on here,” Dingus said during a luncheon at the plant site. “This region was founded by manufacturing. We want that to continue so we can bring more jobs.”

Every $1 invested in manufacturing returns about $1.48 to the local economy, according to U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, who sent a representative to the event.

Otworth, a Scioto County native, is the founding chief executive officer of Innventure, an entity created to work in partnership with Fortune 50 companies to evaluate, scale and commercialize technologies with significant market potential.

“I knew of this site,” Otworth said of the former Dow Chemical plant in western Lawrence County. “You have to have manufacturing jobs that drive money into the economy.”

The plant has the capability to transform the plastic recycling industry by turning used plastics into purified plastic, Otworth said.

Company officials have said they expect this to be the first of many projects to come to the 26-acre site.

The company announced plans last year to lease a 101,000-square-foot building that Dow sold to the LEDC last year.

PureCycle is the first technology that is capable of turning recycled polypropylene into a virgin equivalent end product with a color odor and purity profile equivalent to virgin polypropylene, according to a company release.

“You have to have manufacturing jobs that drive money into the economy.”

Mike Otworth founding chief executive officer of Innventure

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