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Superior Graphite Celebrates 100 Year Anniversary

Jun 25, 2017

Superior Graphite, the thermal purification company on Calvin Drive, celebrated its 100th birthday and 40th year in Hopkinsville with an open house Friday on the factory grounds and celebration at the James E. Bruce Convention Center.

 

“The community has really been welcoming from day one and continues to be,” said President and CEO Ed Carney. “It’s an honor to be here at a hundred years old.”

 

The company’s main product, Desulco, is produced in Hopkinsville. The company built the Hopkinsville factory, renovated from the structure of another factory, to produce Desulco in 1977. The product is used by steel and iron foundries as a carbon additive. Demand for the product has remained strong in recent years, and Superior Graphite plans to expand the Hopkinsville factory this summer.

 

“We plan to invest, with the assumption that our board of directors blesses it, an investment of close to $20 million, which will start happening mid-July. So the future that we see is very bright. The products and the technologies that we have here are unique to the world,” Carney said.

 

The family-owned company began in 1917 as the Superior Flake Graphite Company. It now has six factories, including two in Chicago and one in Sweden.

 

“It’s like a family. There’s close-knit people. It’s a good place to be,” said Alan Reed, a retired research engineer who moved to Hopkinsville from Ohio in the 1980s to work at the factory. Reed helped research the technology that powers the furnaces in the factory. The furnaces refine the coal that comes in and is transformed into Desulco and some other products. Much of the research for the company takes place in the Hopkinsville factory, which operates as more than just an industrial site.

 

As part of the 100 year anniversary celebration, many Hopkinsville residents took part in a factory tour. Local representatives from the Christian County Chamber of Commerce, the City of Hopkinsville and the South West Kentucky Workforce Board paid their respects to the company on Friday.

 

“We’re honored that (Superior Graphite) chose here 40 years ago and we’re hoping that they’ll be here for many decades to come,” said Hopkinsville Mayor Carter Hendricks. Hopkinsville Electric System and the Tennessee Valley Authority presented Carney with a plaque to commemorate the occasion.

 

On Friday evening, the employees and partners of the company held an event at the James E. Bruce Convention Center.

 

by Sam Morgen

for The Kentucky New Era

originally published on June 25, 2017



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