Gov. Andy Beshear joined local officials and company leadership from Ahlstrom, a manufacturer of fiber-based specialty materials, to cut the ribbon on the company’s new $68 million facility in Madisonville that is creating over 50 new full-time jobs.
“I want to congratulate Ahlstrom on this significant milestone in Madisonville,” said Gov. Beshear. “The company has been an important part of the community for nearly 50 years, and its new operation builds on the economic momentum we are seeing across the commonwealth. I want to thank the company’s leadership for allowing me to join them in cutting the ribbon on the new facility and I look forward to seeing Ahlstrom continue to thrive here in Kentucky.”
The new facility, announced in May 2021, will house a glass fiber tissue production line to make substrates for flooring materials such as luxury vinyl tiles and vinyl sheet materials. Its smooth, homogenous glass fiber tissue will also be marketed for building panels, energy storage and thermoplastic molding for the transportation industry. The company’s current 133-employee facility in Madisonville produces filtration materials for automotive and industrial applications.
“This investment demonstrates our commitment to Madisonville and to our customers in North America,” said Pekka Helynranta, Ahlstrom’s vice president of Glass Fiber Tissue. “The new glass fiber tissue line substantially enhances our regional technical capabilities, bolstering our capability to provide sustainable solutions for the building materials industry while also expanding our production capacity in America. This new platform will further strengthen our leadership in the glass fiber tissue market by consolidating our global position in flooring applications and also by giving us a unique platform to expand into other glass fiber tissue applications.”
Ahlstrom (formerly Ahlstrom-Munksjö) is a global leader in fiber-based specialty materials. The company serves five growing and distinctive end markets, which form the basis for its five divisions: filtration, food and consumer packaging, health care, building materials and technical materials. The company has operations in Europe, North America, South America and Asia and employs approximately 7,000 people across 37 plants globally. Ahlstrom has operated in Hopkins County since 1974.
Hopkins County Judge/Executive Jack Whitfield spoke on the company’s longstanding presence in the county: “Ahlstrom has once again proven itself to be one of our area’s top investors. Not only has the company been firmly planted in Madisonville since 1974 – it seizes every opportunity to expand, grow and help put Hopkins County on the map. This new production facility is the only one of its kind in the United States, and Ahlstrom leaders clearly chose to launch its American glass fiber tissue factory in the same place it has seen phenomenal success for the past 49 years. We are grateful to Ahlstrom and its relationship with the community, and we look forward to seeing the company advance in Madisonville for decades to come.”
Madisonville Mayor Kevin Cotton spoke on the community impact this project will have: “I am excited to celebrate not just the opening of a new facility at Ahlstrom, but the promise of prosperity, the power of partnership and the resilience of our community. This expansion signifies not only growth in infrastructure but also the growth of opportunities for our citizens. Ahlstrom’s investment isn’t just in steel and concrete; it’s an investment in Madisonville’s economic future, creating jobs and fostering innovation. Together, we’re building a stronger, more vibrant Madisonville for generations to come.”
Madisonville Hopkins County Economic Development Corp. President Bill Rudd showed his excitement for the project: “We are thrilled to witness Ahlstrom’s expansion in Madisonville. This move not only signifies their commitment to growth and innovation but also reinforces Madisonville’s position as a hub for sustainable and forward-thinking business endeavors. Their investment in our community underscores the promising future for both the company and Madisonville.”
For more information on Ahlstrom, visit Ahlstrom.com.
A detailed community profile for Hopkins County can be viewed here.
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