CIRCLEVILLE — DuPont will invest $220 million in its Circleville operations, which is expected to create 46 area jobs and be in operation by 2021.
The expansion is for the creation of Kapton polyimide film and Pyralux flexible circuit materials that are used in automotive, consumer electronics, telecom, and defense products.
Ryan Scribner, economic development director for Pickaway Progress Partnership (P3), said this is huge news for the county.
“DuPont has been a fixture in Circleville for more than 60 years now and they’ve been a great partner,” he said. “They’re an international company and they could have chosen to make this investment somewhere else but they chose here. It’s because of a good bit of effort by a good deal of local, regional and state stakeholders to help them decide to make that investment here.”
Don McIlroy, Circleville’s Mayor, said the expansion is evidence that Circleville and Pickaway County are great places to live and work.
“DuPont sits in one of the townships but a lot of the employees live in Circleville and Pickaway County,” he said. “I hope that trend continues with the new employees coming on board. I think the Dow Corporation and DuPont are both saying this is a good place to expand business, live and raise families and that they plan on being here for a long time.”
Steve Irwin, plant manager, said the new construction is a positive for the community.
“DuPont has made a choice to invest in this area and it’s a very positive situation we have here,” Irwin said.
The additions will be physical assets that will add capacity and are in support of the Kapton manufacturing operated within the plant. DuPont declined to get more specific about the construction.
“We’ve enjoyed the support of the community,” Irwin said. “There are very capable workers and we’ve have a willing stream of people that have worked full careers here. We’ll continue to hire from within the community, and we hope to provide great roles for these people.”
Brian Stewart, Pickaway County Commissioner, said it is exciting to see one of the county’s long-time employers reinvesting in the community.
“When you say Pickaway County around the state you think about what major employers are most associated with Circleville and Pickaway County. DuPont has been near the top of that list,” Stewart stated.
Stewart said Scribner’s and P3’s efforts to negotiate with all the involved parties is as invaluable as the investment in the community.
“This kind of investment is going to bring a lot of benefit to not only the local economy but to the school system, other businesses in the area and the folks that work at DuPont,” he added.
Scribner said there was worry for awhile that DuPont might close the Circleville plant. The investment demonstrates DuPont’s renewed commitment to Circleville.
“We’ve come out of a period with the whole situation with Dow and DuPont now played out that left a bit of uncertainty of what the ultimate fate might be when the dust settled,” Scribner commented.
“As the dust settled, Circleville emerged as being a profit center for DuPont and has been deemed worthy of a significant investment of capital by DuPont. We went from wondering what was going to happen to them to re-affirming their commitment to Circleville. It’s a huge win for the community and we’re all excited about it,” he continued.
McIlroy echoed those thoughts.
“We were concerned if we would even have a DuPont, but when they decided to split the company into two, they singled out the Circleville plant as one of the growing successes in their corporation,” McIlroy reiterated. “Maybe that’s why they decided to do this expansion.”
In a press release, DuPont said for more than 60 years the plant has manufactured polyimide film for different electronic and industrial applications and the Circleville operation is the natural location for expansion of the products.
“This investment is a reflection of our strong commitment to our customers around the world,” said Jim Fahey, president of DuPont Electronics & Imaging. “Our new production assets will position us well to support the growing need across many sectors for our advanced high-reliability materials for innovations in areas such as 5G, automotive, flexible displays and artificial intelligence.”
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Steven Collins is a reporter for The Circleville Herald