State to support BYK expansion in Wallingford

WALLINGFORD — Local officials were pleased with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s announcement this week that the state plans to loan $6 million to BYK USA Inc. to aid in the company’s expansion at its South Cherry Street facility.

The State Bond Commission is expected to approve the 10-year, $6 million loan during its Friday meeting, according to a statement from the governor’s office. Offered through the Department of Economic and Community Development, the loan will be used by BYK to purchase machinery and equipment. If passed by the State Bond Commission, BYK will be eligible for up to $4 million in loan forgiveness, as long as it retains its current 97 employees and creates 37 new positions.

“This is good news,” Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. said of the pending loan agreement. BYK “has really determined that their growth and work here in Wallingford is a major part of the company’s presence here in the United States.”

BYK USA Inc. is a subsidiary of BYK-Chemie GmbH in Germany. In the U.S., the company produces additives for paint, ink and the plastics industries. Last year, the company broke ground on a $53 million expansion of its Wallingford facility. The expansion, expected to be completed in early 2014, will increase the company’s manufacturing capacity by about 300 percent, and represents “the single largest investment outside of the company’s home of Germany,” Malloy said in a statement.

“I’m pleased the company sees that its long-term growth lies here in Connecticut and I’m proud to announce our support for this innovative company and its remarkable project,” Malloy said.

As part of the loan agreement, BYK must add 37 jobs, most of which will be in manufacturing. The expansion project will create a 56,000-square-foot, three-story office and production facility adjacent to its current plant. BYK has called Wallingford home for over 30 years.

“I feel very strongly that the expansion is terrific for Wallingford and Connecticut,” said state Rep. Mary Fritz, D-Wallingford.

“BYK USA Inc. is located just down the street from my neighborhood,” said state Rep. Mary Mushinsky, D-Wallingford. “I’m happy to learn they will be hiring because of the state’s investment to grow their business.”

“I’m so excited,” said Doreen DeSarro, the town’s business recruiter. DeSarro helped BYK through two expansions during her time working for the town’s Economic Development Department.

“It’s been a long haul and I’m so proud of them,” DeSarro said of BYK. “I’m really happy for all the assistance that we got from the state on this particular project.”

A representative from BYK was not available for comment on Tuesday.

“Wallingford and the entire state of Connecticut, as well, are celebrating the news of this project,” said Catherine Smith, DECD commissioner. (203) 317-2224 Twitter: @Andyragz

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