Protomet Corporation evaluated a site in south Oak Ridge for a $30 million, 200-job expansion, but the company will expand in Loudon County instead, officials said Tuesday.
The good news for Oak Ridge: The current operations will remain here. And all Protomet operations will still be in East Tennessee, said Jeff Bohanan, the company’s founder and chief executive officer.
Protomet had announced in early 2017 that it needed more manufacturing space to add new production capabilities and increase the company’s output.
The initial plan was to expand with a 100,000-square-foot building on the west side of the existing facility on Larson Drive in Bethel Valley Industrial Park in south Oak Ridge. Protomet acquired a 19.7-acre parcel next to its current facility from the U.S. Department of Energy, with the purchase going through the Oak Ridge Industrial Development Board.
Protomet immediately began testing that site, spending about $60,000 on architectural and engineering fees, Bohanan said Tuesday. The idea was to add the new building at the same location as the current one.
But, “at the end of the evaluation, it was clear we could not do the expansion the way it was designed on that land,” Bohanan said. [Read more…]