MeadWestvaco Expands Across Virginia
Rooted in The Commonwealth More Than a Century
Fortune 500 company MeadWestvaco (MWV) first established operations in the Commonwealth more than a century ago through the construction of a paper mill in Covington, Va. What could hardly be imagined in 1899 was that the Covington Mill, as it would later be known, would become the world’s largest solid bleached sulfate mill, producing 900,000 tons of high-quality paperboard each year.
MWV continues to improve and expand this facility — in June 2011 the company announced plans to invest $285 million to construct a new, state-of-the-art boiler and upgrade the associated power infrastructure at the mill. Exporting nearly 50% of its production to international markets, Chairman and CEO John A. Luke, Jr. explained, "Virginia is not only our corporate home, it is a major base of operations and gateway for our business around the world."
Virginia’s central East Coast location and world-class logistics network provide a significant advantage to companies seeking to export and import through the Commonwealth. The Port of Virginia handles more than 2 million TEUs each year and offers companies the only East Coast location able to hand post-Panamax vessels as first port of call. With two Class I railroads, an Inland Port, six major highways and 14 commercial airports, Virginia truly is a gateway to the world.
Location isn’t the only reason MWV decided to invest $80 million in 2006 and relocate its global corporate headquarters from Stamford, Conn., to a new headquarters facility along the James River in downtown Richmond, Va. Virginians are the advantage when leading companies seek to locate near a highly qualified workforce. "Our company is built on the tremendous talent of our workforce. Virginia’s strong emphasis on education — from renowned higher education institutions to the strong and continually improving community college system — plays a major role in our ability to attract, retain and develop exceptional employees," said Luke.
MWV’s confidence in Virginia’s talent and infrastructure was most recently demonstrated this past March when the company announced the opening of its state-of-the-art pilot plant in Henrico County, Va., through a $13 million investment. The new plant is part of MWV’s Center for Packaging Innovation, which the company relocated to its Richmond headquarters from Raleigh, N.C., in 2010. The plant provides 48,000 square feet of space that will allow the company to increase its pre-commercialization product testing.
To learn why market-leading companies such as MeadWestvaco continue to invest in the Commonwealth, click here.
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