HOPEWELL, VA - Evonik Industries announced its plan to invest more than $15 million in its new Richmond Business & Innovation Center. The new center will create an estimated 50 jobs over the next five years for the Richmond, VA, area.

“This investment will enable Evonik to expand its current operations in the Greater Richmond area and preserve more than 130 jobs,” said Dr. Reinhold Brand, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Evonik's Consumer Specialties unit in North America. Brand said the research and development work at the new Richmond Business & Innovation Center is critical to the continued success of the company’s consumer specialties business.

“With the new facility, Evonik doubles its laboratory space in Virginia, providing the opportunity to undertake special research and development projects including joint operative research for customers,” Brand said. “This is something we could not do previously,” he said. “It will open up a number of entrepreneurial opportunities for us.

Evonik’s manufacturing operations, which employ about 110 and produce a variety of ingredients used to make products such as cosmetics, fabric softeners, toothpaste and variations of polyurethane foams, in addition to industrial products used in agriculture, coatings, metalworking, or oil and gas drilling, will remain in Hopewell, VA.

“Hopewell is home to a robust and fast-growing chemical manufacturing site,” Brand said. “And the closeness to the Richmond Business & Innovation Center will benefit Evonik’s significant manufacturing presence in Hopewell. The proximity to our manufacturing site will not only give us a competitive advantage but also support the future development of the company.

“Evonik has purchased a 93,000-square-foot facility near Chesterfield Airport in Chesterfield — part of the Greater Richmond area — and will modernize the structure for use as Evonik’s Richmond Business & Innovation Center,” Brand added. The 18-acre site offers Evonik ample room for future expansions.