Expansion to bring new Danville jobs as hair and beauty care products, pharmaceuticals drive growth for Essel Propack

Essel Propack officials have ambitious plans for its facility in Danville.

“We want to become the Amazon of tubes,” said Parag Chaturvedi, the India-based company’s head of operation in the United States.

Essel Propack is investing $31.2 million to expand its operations in Danville, creating an additional 45 jobs over the next three years, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Monday. The jobs will pay an average of $45,000 to $47,000 annually.

The company makes tubes cosmetics and personal care items, such as toothpaste.

Hair and beauty care products and pharmaceuticals are driving a lot of the growth, Chaturvedi said during an interview at Essel Propack on Cane Creek Boulevard.

The expansion will not include added space to the facility, but will entail addition of more equipment, Chaturvedi said. It will enable the company to increase production in Danville through the introduction of what it calls super-high output tubes (SHOT) technology.

“We’ll be able to turn around orders faster for the customer,” Chaturvedi said.

The company, which currently has 252 employees, aims to increase production from about 700 million to a billion tubes per year. The new jobs would bring the number of workers up to 297.

The new jobs will be high-skilled positions mostly in printing and graphics. The company is currently hiring people in digital printing, Chaturvedi said.

Founded in 1982, Essel Propack is headquartered in Mumbai, India, and has more than 2,850 employees worldwide, including the workers at Danville’s facility, the company’s first and only manufacturing site in the U.S.

Essel Propack’s Danville facility, which started in 2002, is 200,000 square feet.

“With access to the region’s pipeline of skilled talent and low operating costs, Essel Propack has flourished in Southside Virginia,” Northam said in a prepared statement Monday. “We are proud to have a company of this caliber on our corporate roster, and look forward to Essel Propack’s continued success in the Commonwealth.”

Danville Economic Development Director Telly Tucker said the company will received $300,000 in incentives for its equipment expansion based on the amount of investment it will make.

The incentive is a tax break on the new equipment over the next five years, Tucker said.

“It’s the anticipation of additional tax revenue above what we currently get from them today,” he said.

Once the five years run out, the city will collect the added revenue from taxes on the new equipment.

Also, the city will provide $78,750 in incentives for the number of jobs created and their salaries. That money will come from the economic development office’s incentives line item. The company will get $350 per job per year for five years, Tucker said.

The tax breaks and job incentives money will be prorated accordingly if the company’s investment and job numbers fall below what has been announced, Tucker said.

“We are so extraordinarily proud of Essel Propack America and their continued commitment to Danville,” Mayor Alonzo Jones said in a statement. “I’m delighted that Essel Propack has confidence in its future right here in our great city. These investments and new jobs for Danville will continue to help strengthen our regional economy.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the city of Danville and the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance to secure the investment opportunity for Virginia.

Northam approved a $150,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to help Danville with the project.

The governor also approved a $300,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Performance Program, an incentive that encourages capital investment by existing Virginia companies.

The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission approved $330,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds for the project.

John Crane reports for the Danville Register & Bee. Contact him at jcrane@registerbee.com or (434) 791-7987.

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