BELPRE - Two years removed from the construction of a multi-million dollar office building and laboratory, officials at Kraton Polymers are reviewing options for additional space.
Mike White, a spokesman for Kraton's Belpre Plant, said the company's Belpre operation needs room to grow.
"Our business has been in a growth mode for several years," White said. "We have been doing hiring, particularly of our technical professionals."
In 2010 the plant unveiled a new $7.6 million office building and laboratory that modernized the lab and provided office space for 40 employees. White said the company has already outgrown the space, noting some technical employees are working in the old Nova Chemicals office buildings.
White said company officials are reviewing options and evaluating alternatives for additional space. The additional space could be built on-site, in nearby Belpre or Parkersburg.
"We are just looking at options and trying to evaluate alternatives," White said. "We have not met with any city or government officials about any of the available office space they would have."
Belpre Mayor Mike Lorentz, who retired from Kraton in 2006 after 26 years of service, said if there was anything he could do to assist, he would. Lorentz said he has been all over town looking at potential sites.
"I would think we would have something that would appeal or fit," he said. "Build, rent lease, I'm not sure."
White said at this point, company officials are still not sure how many employees they would need to house.
"We are just trying to get a feel for alternatives," he said.
Lorentz said he imagines the company would prefer to expand on-site, but if the city limits become an option he and other city officials are prepared to help.
"I would hope to think everybody involved would be receptive to some sort of assistance," he said.
The company, based in Houston, Texas, has five plants in four continents. The Belpre plant has hired 135 employees in the last five years.
"It is real busy here," White said. "It's good to be with Kraton now."