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A German chemical company planning to build a $20 million, 60,000-sf plant, is focusing on the Charlotte vicinity, GlobeSt.com has learned. It would be the first U.S. operation for Alberdingk Boley GmbH, a Dusseldorf-based manufacturer.

According to those familiar with the proposal, the search has been narrowed to Statesville and Monroe. Statesville is about 50 miles north of Charlotte; Monroe is about 30 miles southeast of Charlotte.

In Monroe, Alberdingk has looked at the Rodel Inc. building, an 80,000-sf facility built in 1998 but never occupied. It was supposed to be the first building of Monroe Corporate Center, a planned 400,000-sf business campus. But because of market shifts in the semiconductor industry, the Phoenix-based company put the project on hold.

Statesville is thought to be the leader in the running for the project, possibly because Rodel raised its asking price for the Monroe buidling. Built at a cost of about $14 million, the price at one time had been dropped to less than $10 million.

Chris Plate, Monroe director of business and economic development, and Jeff McKay, director of the Greater Statesville Development Corp., toured Alberdingk’s Dusseldorf mill during a June visit to Gemany sponsored by the Charlotte Regional Partnership.

Sources say Alberdingk officials have visited sites in the area on at least three occasions. The privately-held, 170-year-old company was founded in a former oil mill in Krefeld, Germany and has grown to become one of the largest producers of specialty chemical binders for industrial use. The firm currently has about 250 employees.

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