Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Ernie Fletcher Announces Riken Elastomers Corporation to Locate in Hopkinsville

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, August 09, 2006  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker
502-564-2611

Mandy Lambert
502-564-7670
 


FRANKFORT, KY – Governor Ernie Fletcher and Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Gene Strong were in Christian County today to participate in the announcement and groundbreaking ceremony for Hopkinsville’s newest corporate citizen.  Riken Elastomers Corporation, a subsidiary of Riken Technos Corporation, will manufacture high-quality thermoplastic elastomer compounds used within the automotive industry.  The Japanese company will initially create 24 new jobs and invest $19.8 million in the commonwealth.

“The location of Riken Elastomers Corporation is a great success for Christian County and the state of Kentucky,” said Governor Fletcher.  “Kentucky has enjoyed a very positive relationship with the Japanese business community over the years and this announcement adds to that success.  As of today, the commonwealth is home to 145 Japanese companies employing more than 37,200 Kentuckians.”

The project represents a joint venture between Riken Technos Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation.  Established in 1951, Riken Technos began with a PVC compounding plant in Tokyo.  The company has grown by adding manufacturing capabilities and sales offices in Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, China and the United States.  The company currently has 1,476 employees worldwide with $608 million in sales. 

“Our domestic sales of thermoplastic elastomer compound have been steadily increasing, centering on the automotive area, and are expected to accelerate in the future in both Japan and North America,” said Mr. Koichi Kinoshita, President of Riken Technos Corporation. “To meet this growing demand and maintain the quality of our current supply system, we have decided to establish this joint venture in Hopkinsville, Kentucky in cooperation with Mitsubishi Corporation.”

Riken Elastomers will construct a new 57,802 square-foot facility on 24 acres in the Commerce Industrial Park, which is strategically located to supply the company’s products to Japanese-owned car parts manufacturers in the United States.  The plant is expected to be operational by July 2007.

“We are very excited that Riken Technos has decided to call Hopkinsville its home,” said Don Henderson, Chairman of the Hopkinsville/Christian County Economic Development Council.  “Their choice to locate in our community will only help further our goals and our vision for this area.  Christian County has established itself as a valuable location for the automotive industry and we look forward to this long and fruitful partnership.”

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved Riken Technos Corporation for tax benefits up to $900,000 under the Kentucky Rural Economic Development Act (KREDA), an incentive program designed to increase employment in the state.  A community profile for Christian County can be found at the following link: http://www.thinkkentucky.com/edis/cmnty/cw/cw020/Location.htm.


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The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency in Kentucky responsible for creating new jobs and new investment in the state. New business investment in Kentucky in 2005 totaled more than $1.6 billion with the creation of over 16,700 new jobs. Information on available development sites, workforce training, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other resources is available at www.thinkkentucky.com.