Manufacturer of Industrial Explosives to Build Plant in Tennessee

Facility will produce liquid ammonium nitrate to be converted into blasting agents.

Austin Powder Inc., a Cleveland-based manufacturer of industrial explosives, will build a factory in Greeneville, Tenn., for the production of liquid ammonium nitrate.

The company will invest more than $110 million in the plant, generating 80 new jobs, according to Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam's office.

The facility, which will operate under the name U.S. Nitrogen, will be located on a 400-acre site near the intersection of I-80 and Highway 11E in Greene County.

The plant will produce ammonium nitrate in liquid form and then transport it to manufacturing sites in Ohio and elsewhere to be upgraded into blasting agents suitable for use at customer mines and quarries, according to the governor's office.

"Austin Powder chose Tennessee because we feel the availability of skilled, trainable workers and access to a national transportation network gives us a strategic advantage," said David True, president of Austin Powder. "Our company has an excellent safety record, good benefits and worker-friendly employment policies and we're committed to creating a safe, productive environment for our employees."

The company's plans call for the construction of a five-building complex on the site. Pending approvals, the first phase of construction is expected to employ 120 full-time workers.

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