Activated carbon manufacturer to open up shop in Bloomfield

The governor announced that a manufacturer of air and water purification tools will open a facility in Bloomfield.  Calgon Carbon boasts that it is the largest manufacturer of activated carbon in the world. It is based in Pennsylvania and has a parent company in Japan. Calgon Carbon acquired two businesses—Benchmark Tank and Bloomfield Machine and […]

Activated carbon manufacturer to open up shop in Bloomfield

The governor announced that a manufacturer of air and water purification tools will open a facility in Bloomfield. 

Calgon Carbon boasts that it is the largest manufacturer of activated carbon in the world. It is based in Pennsylvania and has a parent company in Japan.

Calgon Carbon acquired two businesses—Benchmark Tank and Bloomfield Machine and Welding—in October and is keeping all 42 employees at those Bloomfield locations. It also plans to hire nine new employees this year and a total of 16 new employees over the upcoming years.

“This is an important project for Northwest New Mexico because it shows we can grow and diversify our economy and still invest in our existing workers,” Scott Bird, interim executive director at 4Corners Economic Development LLC, said in a press release. “We look forward to working with Calgon Carbon to meet their business needs so they can find success in the Four Corners Region of New Mexico.” 

The company further plans to invest $94 million into the state over the next decade.

New Mexico will contribute $150,000 from the Local Economic Development (LEDA) job-creation fund to assist in the expansion and the company can further benefit from the Job Training Incentive Program. This program reimburses companies for a portion of the job training and also provides incentives for hiring high-wage workers.

According to a press release from the New Mexico Economic Development Department, the average salary at Calgon Carbon’s Bloomfield location will be between $60,000 and $90,000. 

One of the products that the company produces is called Filtrasorb. Calgon Carbon says this Filtrasorb activated carbon can be used to treat PFAS contaminants in water. PFAS contamination has been documented in several parts of New Mexico including near Air Force bases and near Santa Fe.

That is one of the 700 distinct applications of activated carbon that Calgon Carbon’s technologies can be used in. That ranges from removing sulfur from flue gas at coal-fired electric power plants to purifying foods and pharmaceuticals, according to the company’s website.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said the Bloomfield location will support customers across the western and southwestern United States and will bring jobs to rural communities that often gets overlooked.

The facility, which will be located near Mesa Alta Junior High School, will be the primary manufacturer of activated carbon vessels supporting customers in the Western and Southwestern United States, according to the press release.

Bloomfield is located east of Farmington in San Juan County and has struggled with economic diversification for more than a decade. The small city in the northwest part of New Mexico has traditionally relied on the oil and natural gas sector as an economic base. 

“We are certainly excited to have Calgon Carbon in our community and look forward to their expansion and stand ready to assist them in any manner we can. Bloomfield has long been a hub for industry in San Juan County and this will encourage other manufacturers to look at our community,” Bloomfield City Manager George Duncan said in a press release. 

During the last downturn in the oil and gas sector, the city found itself in tough economic times and had to make some difficult budget decisions, including laying off staff and canceling a contract with the City of Farmington that allowed Bloomfield residents to ride the Red Apple Transit buses from one city to the other.

Bloomfield is also considered a community impacted by the closure of the San Juan Generating Station.

“This investment will expand a skilled workforce and increase wages in a part of the state that has seen a lot of job displacement,” Acting EDD Cabinet Secretary Mark Roper said in a press release. “It also puts Bloomfield at the center of a future-driven technology that helps diversify New Mexico’s economy.” 

The Calgon Carbon announcement was one of several businesses Lujan Grisham highlighted. She also spoke about Mesa Film Studios, which is building a production facility in Albuquerque, and Maxeon Solar Technologies, which announced in August that it will be building a solar cell plant in Albuquerque.

“The message is clear, and we are hearing it again and again from companies worldwide:

New Mexico is where businesses want to be,” she said.

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