Momentive Performance Materials is expected to break ground June 10 on a $5.6 million expansion in Strongsville's industrial park.
The company plans to expand its plant at 22557 West Lunn Rd., install new equipment and add six production workers and four research scientists. The company, which makes materials for the LED lighting industry, currently employs 190.
Strongsville Economic Development Director Brent Painter said Mayor Tom Perciak will participate in the groundbreaking ceremony.
"This is a great project," Painter said.
Strongsville is the headquarters for Momentive’s quartz and ceramics division, which includes three other Ohio plants — in Highland Heights, Willoughby and Newark — as well as plants in China, Japan and Germany.
The Ohio Department of Development early this year awarded Columbus-based Momentive a 60 percent, six-year Job Creation Tax Credit in exchange for the expansion. Momentive pledged to maintain its Strongsville operation for at least nine years.
The Strongsville plant will use the tax credit to ramp up production of boron nitride powder. The chemical compound has many uses, including enhancing the ability of plastics to conduct heat. Momentive sells boron nitride to plastics companies that supply manufacturers of lighting devices using LEDs, or light-emitting diodes.
With demand for energy-efficient LEDs rising, Momentive expects to increase its capacity for making boron nitride by 50 percent, spokesman John Scharf said.
Last year, the Strongsville plant received a $918,000 grant from Ohio’s Third Frontier Commission to develop and market its boron nitride technology, which Momentive said would contribute to better plastic housings for LEDs. The Third Frontier is a $2.1 billion economic-development program to help high-tech industries grow.
The expansion includes adding warehouse space to Momentive’s 265,000-square-foot plant, which also turns out products for the semiconductor, aerospace, personal care, thermal management, packaging and machine tool industries. Most of the new equipment to be purchased will be installed in the warehouse, Scharf said.
The plant, built about 10 years ago, operated as Advanced Ceramics before that company’s sale to General Electric. GE sold that part of its business in 2006, and it became known as Momentive.
The 10 new jobs will add $700,000 to the Strongsville operation’s annual payroll, according to the state Development Department. The new hires will make an average of nearly $50 an hour, including benefits.