Ciba celebrates opening of Water Paper Treatment facility

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 10, 2005

City officials joined Ciba Specialty Chemicals officials Wednesday to dedicate the company’s water and paper chemical headquarters operation in Suffolk.

The $3.5 million, 26,400-square-foot facility on Wilroy Road serves as the headquarters for Ciba’s Water & Paper Treatment (W&PT) business, based in Suffolk.

A Ciba press release stated that the building’s opening marks the company’s commitment to support the growing W&PT business and builds a strong base in Virginia.

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&uot;The highly skilled workforce and the relationships it has developed with both customers and the community continues to be a significant contributor to the company’s growth within the industry,&uot; said Bill Leber, regional head of Ciba’s W&PT division.

&uot;With the opening of the new headquarters, the company is now well along in implementing its strategic plan for growth.

&uot;Having our sales and marketing staff working closely with our production and technical service colleagues strengthens our position to provide support to our customers across the United States, Canada and Mexico.&uot;

Before cutting the ribbon, Mayor Bobby Ralph touted the company’s commitment by investing in Suffolk, noting Ciba could have chosen to locate the facility anywhere in the country.

&uot;We think we’ve done our homework in preparing for an industry of this sort,&uot; Ralph said. &uot;This is a place where you can continue to grow and prosper.&uot;

Ciba currently has approximately 400 employees in Suffolk and an annual payroll of $20 million.

The move to the new building allows Ciba to further develop synergies, with its sales and marketing employees now working in close proximity with scientists in the technical service laboratories.

Leber thanked the community for its generous support.

He said Ciba considered sites in other states, but Suffolk officials worked cooperatively with the company in providing support to keep the facility in Virginia.

&uot;The efforts made by the Industrial Development Authority and Tom O’Grady and Steven Wright with the Suffolk Economic Development Office have been significant,&uot; Leber said. &uot;We wanted to build this facility in Suffolk and keep employees in sales, marketing and production working in close proximity for strategic reasons.

&uot;The support Ciba received from the city of Suffolk was instrumental in our final decision to locate the facility here.&uot;

Ciba officials who participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony included Mark Garrett, head of Ciba’s Global W&PT business; David Muldoon, head of the company’s Regional Water Treatment business; and Patrick Hochstrasser, production manager for the Suffolk site.