Spanish company chooses Suffolk for new facility

Published 9:14 pm Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A company based in Spain will invest $5.1 million and create 15 new jobs with a new manufacturing and distribution facility in downtown Suffolk.

Atarfil, which develops and manufactures thermoplastic geomembranes, will set up shop in a vacant building in the Commonwealth Commerce Center near Moore Avenue, city Economic Development Director Kevin Hughes said Wednesday.

“It’s a good location,” he said, adding the building has been vacant for some time. The company will take advantage of the CSX rail line that runs near the property, Hughes said.

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The company’s products are used in a variety of applications such as landfills, erosion control, ornamental ponds, reservoirs and soundproofing, among others.

Suffolk competed against New York, Baltimore and Chesapeake for the project, Hughes said. The Economic Development Authority voted after a closed session on Wednesday to approve a $60,000 Economic Development Investment Program grant to entice the company.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe also has approved a $60,000 grant from the Commonwealth Opportunity Fund to assist with the project, according to a press release from the governor’s office. The company will also be eligible for sales and use tax exemptions on manufacturing equipment.

“Atarfil is a welcome addition to our well-established advanced manufacturing industry sector here in Suffolk,” Suffolk Mayor Linda T. Johnson stated in the press release. “International investment by companies such as Atarfil demonstrate Suffolk’s importance in today’s global economy.”

Atarfil was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Granada, Spain. It also has operations in Mexico, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

“We are honored that Atarfil chose Virginia for its first manufacturing operation in the United States,” John F. Reinhart, chief executive officer and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority, stated in the release. “The decision to locate near The Port of Virginia is an example of a manufacturer recognizing the value of our expanding port and its global reach.”

“Atarfil has considered numerous locations around the country, and we are confident that Suffolk and Virginia will be the best springboard to bring our technology and capabilities to the American market,” Atarfil Managing Director Emilio Carreras Torres stated in the press release. “We are thankful to all of the organizations involved in helping us come to this decision, including the City of Suffolk, Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance, Port of Virginia and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.”