Ingevity headquarters

Ingevity, a specialty chemicals manufacturer based in North Charleston, is building a $20 million headquarters and adding about 100 jobs near Park Circle. Rendering by LS3P

Ingevity, a specialty chemicals manufacturer based in North Charleston, is building a new $20 million headquarters and adding about 100 jobs near Park Circle.

Ingevity makes products from pine-tree oil and sawdust that are used in adhesives, cleaners, paints, inks and other products. The company was a division of MeadWestvaco — now WestRock — under the name MWV Specialty Chemicals, until it was spun off as a separate company two years ago.

The new headquarters will be built on a former brownfield site at 4920 O'Hear Ave. The 110,000-square-foot facility will cost $20 million, with another $5 million going toward an upfit for the new workers, according to a news release. Construction is expected to start late this fall, with an opening scheduled for 2020.

The company currently employs about 1,600 workers in 25 locations worldwide, including 500 in North Charleston.

"Ingevity has flourished in the North Charleston community for more than 70 years," Michael Wilson, the company's president and CEO, said Wednesday. "As the largest publicly traded company by revenues in the Charleston region, we are proud to continue growing our roots in this community."

Ingevity, whose motto is "purify, protect and enhance," was last in the news in April after donating $300,000 so the South Carolina Aquarium could open a new "Respond Gallery" explaining the dangers of disposable plastics in oceans.

The company also made its first major acquisition this year, closing on a deal to buy paper giant Georgia-Pacific's pine chemicals unit for $310 million.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said the North Charleston expansion "serves as another testament to South Carolina’s strong business climate."

"Ingevity is a world-class company, and it speaks volumes that they decided to have this high-tech operation right here in South Carolina," McMaster said in a statement.

The new building will be less than a mile from the Ingevity Technical Center at 5255 Virginia Ave., which houses the company’s corporate offices and laboratory space, as well as its Innovation Center and one of its manufacturing facilities. After the relocation of the headquarters, the technical center will be refurbished with new laboratory space and offices for the company's technical teams.

The new building is designed by LS3P architects and will be built by Weaver Capital Partners of Atlanta and WECCO Development of Charleston.

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Meanwhile, Ingevity on Wednesday reported second quarter net sales of $308.6 million, representing an increase of 18.6 percent versus $260.3 million during the same period a year ago. Net income was $52.2 million, an increase of 45.8 percent.

Also this week, Ingevity announced another acquisition. The company signed an agreement to buy the remaining 30 percent interest in Purification Cellutions in Waynesboro, Ga., from its partner, Applied Technology Limited Partnership of Doraville, Ga., for $80 million. The sale is expected to close in the third quarter.

The Waynesboro plant manufactures "honeycomb" scrubbers so cars and trucks can meet federal emissions standards. The plant has been operating since 2002 and employs about 200 people.


Reach Dave Munday at 843-937-5553.