Work started on Rockwood's Augusta pigment plant

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Eighteen months after announcing its industrial colorant plant, Rockwood Color Pigments’ $115 million facility is underway near the Augusta airport.

Ground work has begun at 1895 Doug Barnard Parkway, and a $1.7 million commercial building permit was issued in mid-July for the project’s first phase.

There has been progress underground at the 44-acre site, including the installation of electrical wiring, said Sylvester Bartos, the project manager and vice president of global plant operations.

When plans to develop the iron oxide pigment production plant were announced in December 2011, completion was scheduled for mid-2013. A change in engineering firms and a wet spring and summer have delayed construction, Bartos said. Operations should begin in February 2015.

Augusta Economic Development Authority Executive Director Walter Sprouse said mud from recent rains seems to be the biggest obstacle at the site.

“This is a massive facility,” he said. “It’s just going to take awhile.”

Steel construction likely won’t begin until the end of the year, Bartos said.

The plant will make synthetic pigments used in construction, coatings, concrete and plastics. The facility, which will hire 80 to 100 employees, is the first of its kind built in the country in the past 35 years.

Hiring for engineering and administrative positions has started, Bartos said.


Engineering and administrative positions for Rockwood’s future Augusta plant will be posted at

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Riverman1 07/24/13 - 04:49 pm
Aerial photos of their New York plant

Aerial photos of their New York plant shows a red dust over the community surrounding the facility. I hope the technology has improved and that doesn't happen here.

exRockwood 08/02/13 - 03:25 pm
NY Plant?

Was unaware Rockwood has a New York iron oxide pigment plant. They have plants in Easton PA, Beltsville, MD, King of Prussia PA, St Louis, and LA but no oxide plants in NY. Iron oxide isn't harmful - used in pills, dog food, FDA food contact applications, etc. The dirt around the plant and all red Georgia clay is it's natural color because of iron oxide. Yes, technology has improved with dust collection so newer plants aren't as messy as the old plants. It's exciting that this is coming back to the US as there are only 3 of these types of plants left in the US. Most others went to China years ago.

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