Few things can tell a community’s story better than its business residents’ insights. This is why we created the “Why Midlothian?” series.
In this series, Midlothian companies share their experiences, observations and impressions about why Midlothian has proven a great fit for their business needs. We hope their stories will inspire you to consider how you can make something great with us in Midlothian.
Tormod Rui, Plant Manager, Chemtrade, Midlothian, TX
Toronto-based Chemtrade is a leading supplier of industrial chemicals and services to customers worldwide. The company is one of North America’s largest suppliers of sulfuric acid, spent acid processing services, inorganic coagulants for water treatment, sodium chlorate, sodium nitrite, sodium hydrosulfite, and phosphorus pentasulfide.
With more than 70 locations around the globe, Chemtrade has been growing steadily, including in North Texas. Its Midlothian plant, which was acquired by Chemtrade in 2014 and produces potassium chloride, has announced expansion plans twice in the last two years.
In 2015, Chemtrade announced the Midlothian plant would increase the capacity of its pharmaceutical-grade caustic pellet business by 50 percent and, in 2016, the company embarked upon a $25 million project to increase the capacity of its high-purity potassium chloride by more than 50 percent over the next two years.
The most recent expansion will include a new crystallizer and downstream train as well as upgraded packaging and warehousing space.
The Midlothian plant occupies 6.2 acres with 37,690 square feet of office, production, and warehouse space. The facility has grown from about 40 employees to nearly 70 and all employees are undergoing continuous training to meet the safety and quality requirements of their current manufacturing jobs and to take part in the ongoing expansion process.
Plant manager Tormod Rui says the truck- and rail-served facility receives weekly shipments of potassium chloride from Canadian salt mines. The salt is then purified through an extensive process that meets and exceeds cGMP and FDA requirements for both Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and ingredients used in the food, beverage, and nutraceutical industries.
The Midlothian Chemtrade plant serves customers in the United States, Canada, Europe, Puerto Rico, Japan, and beyond. Major customers include Campbell’s Soup, Nestle, Pfizer, and a variety of other pharmaceutical and nutraceutical firms.
The plant operates around the clock and is one of Chemtrade’s larger production facilities.
Chemtrade executives say that their potassium chloride products help food industry companies meet the recently issued FDA voluntary guidelines recommending that the U.S. food industry work toward a 50 percent reduction in sodium chloride (salt) content in their products over the next 10 years.
For more information, visit www.chemtradelogistics.com.
Midlothian Economic Development: Please share a little background on Chemtrade.
Tormod Rui: Chemtrade operates a diversified business providing industrial chemicals and services to customers in North America and around the world with its headquarters in Toronto, Canada.
Chemtrade is a member of the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) and supports and adheres to the Association’s Responsible Care® ethic and its Codes of Practices. Responsible Care® is a global voluntary initiative of the chemical industry and is a unique ethic for the safe and environmentally sound management of chemicals.
The Midlothian site is part of the Specialty and Performance Chemicals business segment of Chemtrade and produces high purity potassium chloride, sodium hydroxide, and potassium hydroxide for customers worldwide within the pharmaceutical, food and electronics industries and adheres to current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) and is overseen by the Food and Drug Administration.
Potassium Chloride is a salt substitute used in many food products and is also used in personal care items, over-the-counter drugs, and prescription drugs.
MED: Why did you choose to locate your business in Midlothian?
TR: The facility has been operational in Midlothian since 1981 and was acquired by Chemtrade in 2014.
Midlothian is a great place to grow the business; our employees enjoy living and working here. The city employees and politicians have been partners in several expansions of our operations, the infrastructure is developed, and the city services are close and easy to access.
MED: In what ways has your company expanded since you began operations in Midlothian?
TR: Last year, we expanded our caustic plant by 50 percent and this year and next year we’re planning and executing on a 50-percent increase of the salt plant. The work is based on local knowledge and expertise combined with Chemtrade’s global engineering resources and local engineering and contractors.
MED: How would you characterize your experience thus far in Midlothian?
TR: Personally, I like to work with the people here – our employees, the city employees, the contractors we engage. And we can always reach out to the Midlothian Economic Development team when we have questions regarding business networking and opportunities.
MED: How have city officials supported the growth of your company?
TR: City employees and politicians have been very positive toward our business growth using the tools they have to support the business and explaining the regulations and how to successfully meet the requirements.
MED: What advantages does North Texas, in general, offer to growing businesses?
TR: Being a niche specialty manufacturer, North Texas is a great spot in a diverse business environment where we can partner with professional contractors and vendors that can service our needs. The fact that the region has been successful growing in a business- and employee-friendly environment attracts more businesses and people; this makes the area vital and optimistic for the future.
MED: What advice would you give to other companies considering locating in Midlothian?
TR: Contact the Midlothian Economic Development team and discuss the opportunities the city has to offer. For Chemtrade, Larry Barnett and his team have been a great resource.