Following a nationwide search, ShayoNano has selected Fort Bend County as its first U.S. production facility for innovative paint additives based on patented nano technology.
The journey to Fort Bend started with the 2014 SelectUSA Investment Summit where ShayoNano representatives got to hear from President Barack Obama, who attended the conference, and Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett via video conference. The summit is designed to bring together foreign companies considering investing in the United States with economic development organizations, government officials and others.
Following the summit, Chief Executive Officer Mahesh Patel said he drove from Houston to Miami looking for a suitable location for a U.S. production facility.
“South Carolina, North Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and Texas were on our short list,” Patel said. “We met with the governor’s office in each state and narrowed the list to just Florida, Louisiana and Texas.”
After meeting with Houston city officials and the Greater Houston Partnership, Patel and his team thought the Houston area would be ideal.
“We looked at infrastructure, energy cost, labor cost, airports and experienced labor — both high-end labor and general chemical workers who would understand safe material handling and process control,” said John Falsone, vice president of sales and marketing for ShayoNano.
Patel set up a temporary office in the Houston Technology Center while exploring the area for a permanent facility.
“We looked at crime, population, diversity and schools,” Patel said. “It was schools that tipped the scale. My son Dashan wanted to be in Sugar Land so he could attend Fort Bend schools.”
Patel opened his Stafford facility in 2016, starting first with a laboratory while designing the production room. Equipment custom engineered for the site began arriving in May, with installation continuing into July.
The production facility became operational mid-July, synthesizing SmartHide, an alternative to a primary pigment used in paint.
“Our unique process and ability to use recycled materials as feedstocks result in a product that will have a much reduced carbon footprint,” Falsone said. “This approach will not result in highly volatile market pricing as is the case with the current technology used.”
Patel said there is a greater efficacy to SmartHide, as well.
“It provides more functionality for less material,” he said.
ShayoNano also will be manufacturing SmartIR from the Stafford facility. SmartIR is a synthetic additive for paint primarily used on roofs. Patel said his Stafford site, which has an annual capacity of at least 300 tons, is a test site.
“We expect to build a larger facility that will be 100 to 200 times larger,” he said. “The potential market for our products is in excess of $2 billion.”
Patti Worfe, Economic Development Director for the City of Stafford, said she has already begun working with Patel on site opportunities for expansion in the area.
“Nurturing and growing companies like ShayoNano is a core objective of the city,” Worfe said. “They chose Stafford based on a combination of business and quality of life issues, including the city’s zero property tax rate.”
Jeff Wiley, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Fort Bend Economic Development Council, has been equally active in the development and expansion of the company in Fort Bend County.
“Over 30 years ago, we set out as an organization and community to develop Fort Bend into a world class location for business and commerce,” Wiley said. “ShayoNano’s move to Fort Bend County is validation that the things we are doing are working to attract both U.S. and international companies and investment to our community.”