Friday, November 01, 2019

SI Group update
The SI Group Community Advisory Panel met this week and was presented with an overview of company activities. Plant Manager Dan Dickens said the facility has produced Biphenol at the site on Chemwood Drive in Newport since 2004. The two-shift operation, with a total of 33 3mployees, has it's own fire and rescue personnel with a back-up from the Cocke County Fire Department. The operation has not had a reportable injury for seven years. Operating on 30 acres of a 110-acre site, the operation saw expansions in 2012 and 2015, but there are no plans for future expansion. The production of Biphenol leaves Isobutylene as a by-product, as well as a distillation by-product, but with virtually no waste. Dickens says the local facility has been recognized by the state as a VPP site; a Voluntary Protection Program certified site. "It's a program administered by the Tennessee Department of Labor. If you meet all their requirements they certify you and then you are somewhat free of inforcement visits. We are re-certified every three years, and we are one of just 38 companies in the state to be certified. If you start having accidents you can actually lose your certification," he explained According to Dickens, the product from the local plant goes to many parts of the world. "Biphenol is a powder, an engineered plastic that goes into other chemical company's, formulations. It has a high melt point and so it ends up in some medical and plumbing applications," explained Dickins. He said most of the plant's production is sold domestically but the firm also has customers in China, Japan, Germany and France, and the firm is working to expand those markets.


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Thursday, June 04, 2020

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