Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

March 23, 2012

StonePeak Ceramics announces $15 million expansion

CROSSVILLE — StonePeak Ceramics has announced a $15 million expansion of its state-of-the-art porcelain tile manufacturing facility in Crossville. The expansion will add a new product line to the facility as well as allow for increased storage space of its finished product and bring 50 new jobs to the community.

"Thank you for the welcome you gave to StonePeak when started. From that point on, we grew really quickly, and we got all the support from this community. This new investment is part of our commitment to this community to continue to grow in the future," said Massimo Fiorini, chief financial officer for StonePeak.

He thanked the community for the welcome it gave to StonePeak when it announced its move to Crossville in 2001. Parent company GranitiFiandri, with eight tile manufacturing plants in Italy and one in Germany, based their United States operation in Cumberland County, starting production in 2004 and 2005. In making that decision, the company cited the area's availability of raw materials for the manufacturing process and its location within a day's drive of 75 percent of the United State's population.

President and CEO Giuseppe Pifferi said, "We honored to be here. Our parent company is in Italy. The United States market is, for us, very important for our company, and we continue to invest here because we have a very important business here to grow."

StonePeak currently employs 190 people. The expansion will bring that number to 240 employees.

Crossville Mayor J.H. Graham said, "To have a good job is something that we want all of our children to have an opportunity to enjoy, and it takes someone like you to see the growth and potential of a small town like Crossville and help us grow. We thank you very, very much for being here."

Graham added, "It's a pleasure to work with County Mayor Kenneth Carey and the Chamber of Commerce in support of the growth and expansion of StonePeak."

Cumberland County Mayor Kenneth Carey said, "It's always exciting to work with industries to bring new jobs to Cumberland County, and it is especially good when we can work with industries that are currently located here for them to expand and create new jobs. StonePeak has a rich history in our community with the goods and services they provide, as well as the people they employ. We are grateful to have them as part of our community and we congratulate them on this expansion.

Crossville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce Chairman Frank Shipley said, "We certainly appreciate your investment in the community and the people, and it's a wonderful partnership."

The expansion is scheduled for completion by the end of 2013. The company has purchased 35 acres adjoining its property on Porcelain Tile Drive to improve storage and shipping efficiency. A new 60,000-square-foot expansion to the current 750,000-square-foot manufacturing facility is also planned. As part of the expansion, StonePeak has qualified for a PILOT program (Payment-In-Lieu-of-Tax) agreement for a 15-year period. The Cumberland County Industrial Development Board has agreed to the PILOT on real and personal property.

The company manufactures a variety of porcelain tile flooring in 18 collections with more than 600 types of tile. The company is a believer in sustainable manufacturing and uses 100 percent natural minerals in production. There are no sealants, waxes, epoxy or man-made binders used and no artificial coloring, providing a finished product as nature intended. This means StonePeak Ceramics' products can be used in certified green building projects. The products are long-lasting and more durable than other hard surface products, and they do not contain volatile organic compounds.

StonePeak is a member of the United States Green Building Council, which sponsors the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design program.

The company’s products can be found throughout the United States, with StonePeak products available through national retailer Lowe's.

StonePeak also has contracts with Wal-Mart, providing tiles for store entrances and other areas, and it has supplied tile for national chains, including McDonald's and 7-Eleven.

StonePeak has enjoyed continual growth in production since opening. Customers have used the unglazed, thru-color and glazed porcelain tiles in a variety of applications, including health care settings, entertainment venues, restaurants, educational institutions, churches and other sacred spaces and in homes.

The company takes its green responsibilities to heart, recycling nearly 100 percent of raw material and water wastes back into the production cycle. In 2010 alone, about 4 million gallons of water were reused and conserved, along with 27,500 tons of raw material. The facility also makes use of anti-pollution devices that exceed minimum standards required by law. StonePeak is pleased to be part of a new case study by Southern California Edison showcasing new, eco-friendly building materials at Green Idea House, a 2,100-square-foot home being remodeled for a modern look that is both environmentally sensitive and beautiful.

Governor Bill Haslam praised the company for their continued growth and investment in the state. Though not present at the announcement, he said in a press release, "StonePeak Ceramics' announcement is another example of Tennessee's business friendly climate, and I thank company officials for their decision to grow in the Crossville community. Existing industry expansions are the key to growing our state's economy and will help make our goal of becoming the number one state in the Southeast for high quality jobs a reality.”

Commissioner Bill Hagerty, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, echoed the governor's comments, adding, "The importance and support of existing industries in Tennessee should not be understated. Expansions by companies like StonePeak Ceramics that have long-standing relationships within their communities drive job creation for our entire state. I thank StonePeak Ceramics for its continued investment in Tennessee and our citizens.”

Also recognized at the announcement were Andy Lawson with Tennessee Valley Authority and state Sen. Charlotte Burks and state Rep. Cameron Sexton for their efforts in supporting the community, as well as the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to make available funding for training and other incentives to help existing industries grow and expand.


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