Governor McDonnell announces $96.2 Million upgrade to Suffolk Lipton plant

Posted at 3:40 PM, Mar 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-11 15:40:41-04

Suffolk, Va. – Governor Bob McDonnell announced today that Unilever will spend $96.2 million to upgrade its Lipton Tea manufacturing plant in Suffolk.

Virginia successfully competed against Kentucky, North Carolina and South Carolina for the project.

“An investment of this caliber secures the future viability of Unilever’s Lipton plant in Suffolk, which has been in operation since 1955 and produces nearly all of the Lipton tea bags sold throughout North America. As the largest tea production facility in the U.S., this operation is crucial to the prosperity of the company and employs nearly 300 in Hampton Roads. This expansion and machinery upgrade ensures the continued success of the Lipton plant for years to come, and is a major win for Virginia and Suffolk,” said McDonnell.

“Lipton has thrived in Suffolk for nearly 60 years, enjoying a business climate, workforce and infrastructure second to none,” said Jim Cheng, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “The Suffolk plant’s proximity to the Port of Virginia influenced the location decision for this investment, as the company imports loose tea through the port from various countries. We are proud that nearly all of Lipton teas are produced from the Commonwealth, and this equipment upgrade will allow the company to increase production and stay competitive.”

The Suffolk plant was one of Unilever’s first factories to achieve zero-to-landfill in the USA and was a pilot site to implement LED lighting, which significantly reduces electricity consumption.