Eastman Chemical Co, a specialty chemical products company serving markets such as adhesives, coatings, electronics and medical, today announced a major expansion of the nearly 100-year-old Tennessee company.

Called Project Inspire, Eastman will invest $1.6 billion in its Kingsport site and add 300 new jobs during the next seven years. 

Eastman is headquartered in Kingsport, Tenn and has approximately 7,000 employees – more than half of its total number of employees worldwide – in Northeast Tennessee, making it the region’s largest employer. Globally the company employs 13,500.

"This represents a landmark capital investment that will modernize and expand our largest manufacturing site and corporate campus here in Kingsport,” said Eastman CEO Jim Rogers. "This multi-year project will culminate in Eastman’s 100th anniversary in 2020. I can think of no better way to honor our long-term commitment to this site and surrounding community than through this very significant investment in our future.”

The investment will include safety and environmental projects, increased warehouse capacity, building renovations and expansion of its corporate campus.

The state will provide funding to support the corporate campus expansion, road infrastructure improvements for the project, and a grant to meet advanced manufacturing training needs for the company through the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing located in Kingsport.

“I want to thank Eastman and its employees for all of the incredible work they do that has brought us here today,” said Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. “For nearly 100 years, Eastman has been crucial to the state’s economy, growing into a global brand, and today’s announcement means they will continue to grow right here where they started.”