Miller Chemical hopes to open rebuilt facility by June

Michael Sadowski//November 27, 2015

Miller Chemical hopes to open rebuilt facility by June

Michael Sadowski//November 27, 2015

The Adams County manufacturing company — beset by a destructive fire that leveled its facility and caused an estimated $20 million in damage — expects to be back operating its rebuilt plant in June, which would be about a year since the fire.

Miller Chemical spokeswoman Barb Klunk said the company is in the process of rebuilding. The company manufactures specialty agricultural products such as plant nutrition and plant growth regulators.

According to the company’s building permit filed with Conewago Township, the rebuilt plant will cost about $5.5 million. Dave Arndt, the township’s zoning and code enforcement officer, said the new plant will be the same size as the one it is replacing, about 97,000 square feet.

The township approved the permit for rebuilding on Sept. 23, Arndt said, but it does not include a timeline for construction.

“But I believe they want to hurry,” he said.

Ed Strevig, who works for Conewago Township’s appointed building inspector, Middle Department Inspection Agency of Lower Allen Township, said the company started construction in late October. By April, he said the shell is expected to be built.

Miller Chemical still is manufacturing and distributing its products worldwide through outsourcing efforts while the rebuild is underway, according to Klunk.

“We have outside toll manufacturers supplying our products to our U.S. customers, as well as international customers in about 90 countries,” Klunk said in an email. Toll manufacturers are contracted by a company to provide outsourced work.

Klunk would not comment further on the rebuilding effort, including how many people are employed by the company and how many might have been idled during the reconstruction.

Miller Chemical suffered through a devastating fire in early June — a fire so destructive that a state police fire marshal said he could not determine its precise cause because the damage was too extensive.