Cabinet for Economic Development
Governor Beshear Announces R.T. Vanderbilt Company to Make Significant Investment in Murray Facility

Press Release Date:  Thursday, June 17, 2010  
Contact Information:  Mandy Lambert, (502) 564-7670  

$20 million expansion will increase square footage, production and jobs

MURRAY, Ky. (June 17, 2010) – Gov. Steve Beshear today joined company and community officials in Murray to announce R.T. Vanderbilt Company will invest $20 million in its Murray chemical manufacturing operation as part of an expansion that will help the company adjust to current market conditions.  The company expects 16 new jobs will also result from the expansion. 

“This significant investment by R.T. Vanderbilt is a positive outcome for the dedicated and hardworking employees in the Murray community,” said Gov. Beshear. “The success and growth of our existing industries are imperative to our economic recovery and this $20 million expansion is one more indicator that we are moving in the right direction.” 

Established in 1916, R.T. Vanderbilt Company is a privately held corporation specializing in mining, chemical manufacturing and chemical resale.  The Murray plant, which is located at 396 Pella Way, has been in operation since 1970, and will undergo a major modification due to the expansion, increasing its square footage by 21,634 square feet.   

“R.T. Vanderbilt is proud to be expanding its Murray, Kentucky location,” said Richard Vonnahme, executive vice president and general manager of R.T. Vanderbilt. “The company has long been a significant participant in the lubricant additive, pharmaceutical and personal-care markets. The investment in Vanderbilt’s Chemical and Mineral Divisions reflects the company’s growth in these markets and speaks well for the future of the facility. R.T. Vanderbilt has long benefited from the support of excellent employees and the community and looks forward to operating in Calloway County for many years to come.” 

Expansions are planned for both the chemical and mineral divisions, and once completed, are expected to create 16 new jobs in the highly automated operations. Construction is projected to start in early 2011. The products manufactured in the chemical expansion are sold as lubricant additives, while the mineral products are used in the pharmaceutical and personal care markets.  

“R.T. Vanderbilt has been a good employer in this community for almost 40 years.  They pay great wages and are considered as an excellent place to work,” said Larry Elkins, Calloway County Judge Executive.  “We are very proud of this expansion and hope that it solidifies Vanderbilt in Calloway County for at least another 40 years.” 

“R.T. Vanderbilt may not be our largest employer, but they are certainly one of the best.  They pay excellent wages, are very environmentally conscious, and are just good people doing good things for Kentucky,” added Mayor Danny Hudspeth, city of Murray. “As Mayor, I am proud to have them here and applaud them on their continuing growth.” 

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved R.T. Vanderbilt Company for tax incentives up to $300,000 through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA).  KEIA is an incentive program that allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on the cost of construction materials, building fixtures and equipment used for research and development.    

A detailed community profile for Murray (Calloway County) can be viewed at  Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at