Rockwood Holdings, Inc., and the Michigan Economic Development Commission have announced the decision to build a new state-of-the-art $25 million manufacturing plant in Blackman Township, Mich., for Rockwood’s Chemetall U.S. Inc. business unit. The plant will manufacture surface treatment chemicals to pre-treat metal used in the manufacture of durable goods and the cleaning and sanitizing of equipment used in a broad range of U.S. industries. Chemetall is a leading global supplier of special chemicals with a focus on processes for the surface treatment of metals and plastics, as well as selected areas of fine chemicals, including lithium and cesium. 

“Rockwood believes in the future of manufacturing in the United States and in the state of Michigan, and we are demonstrating our commitment to business and the workers of this state with a multi-million dollar investment," said Seifi Ghasemi, Rockwood Chairman and CEO.

Joris Merckx, President of Chemetall Surface Treatment, added: “With this investment, Rockwood and Chemetall demonstrate their commitment to set equally high standards around the globe, for both global and local customers, as we recently have done with new plants in Mexico, Brazil and Turkey.”

The new plant will employ 74 individuals from workers to supervisors and chemists. “We are proud of this investment,” said Ron Felber, President, Chemetall U.S., Inc. “Our new plant is a commitment to excellence and a positive statement to our valued customers, employees, and the state of Michigan.”

Chemetall U.S. Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Rockwood Holdings, is a specialty chemical company that supplies industrial products used in the manufacturing of durable goods. These products include metalworking fluids, cleaners, and coatings that prepare metal surfaces for painting. Chemetall also supplies cleaners for the food industry, used to clean and sanitize processing equipment, to the pulp and paper industry for felt and equipment cleaning and general maintenance products. Chemetall is headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and comprises about 40 companies worldwide. With 2,750 employees, the Group achieved sales of about € 714 million (in 2009).

Rockwood Holdings, Inc, based in Princeton, NJ,. is a leading global specialty chemicals and advanced materials company. Rockwood has a worldwide employee base of approximately 9,500 people and annual net sales of approximately $3 billion. The company focuses on global niche segments of the specialty chemicals, pigments and additives and advanced materials markets.