Omya Verpol Operation
OMYA's Verpol plant grinds up rock to extract and purify calcium carbonate for industrial applications. Calcium carbonate is a widespread material, making up 4% of the earth's crust. Found in limestone, chalks, and other common rocks and minerals, it is often used to make aggregate and cement. Because of the high purity, whiteness, and homogeneity of OMYA's deposits, the material can be used in commercial and industrial goods as fillers, coatings, and pigments, common in such products as paper, toothpaste, paint, adhesives, tires, chewing gum, and plastics. The raw material is trucked here from two primary source quarries in the state, the Pittsford Quarry, half a mile north of the plant, and the Middlebury Quarry, 25 miles north. The finished product is shipped by the company's fleet of rail cars (OMYA is the largest user of freight rail in the state) to other plants and customers around the nation. The Vermont operations of the company are major, but it also has plants in Washington State, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arizona, Alabama, and California. OMYA is a privately held Swiss company, originally founded in 1884 as Pluss-Staufer, with locations all over the world. It changed its name to OMYA in 2000, and is now the largest producer of industrial grade calcium carbonate in the world. Until 2007, its North American operations were headquartered in Proctor, Vermont, occupying the former Vermont Marble Company's old buildings. It has since moved its headquarters to Ohio, reflecting the company's expansion across North America.