Hawkins Inc. on Monday announced the purchase of a 77,000 square foot facility on 10 acres in Centralia, Ill.

The facility will be primarily used for expansion of the company’s lactate and other food ingredient manufacturing capacity within its industrial group, with the water treatment group using the location as a branch office for its operations as it expands its geographic coverage. It is expected that the facility will be fully operational in the summer of 2009.

John R. Hawkins, Hawkins CEO, said, “We have enjoyed significant growth in the volumes of our manufactured specialty food products. As we searched for new capacity and strived to be closer to our raw material suppliers and customers for this product line, we are pleased to have found this existing structure in this strategic location. This acquisition will ultimately allow us to free up capacity at our Minneapolis site for other business growth opportunities.”

John Sevenich, vice president of the industrial group, said, “The facility has everything we need including adequate rail car siding capacity, which is critical to keeping our supply transportation costs down. We intend to have a state-of-the art specialty chemical manufacturing facility when we are finished with the build-out of this site.”

Hawkins provides a full range of bulk industrial products complemented with the technical competence and innovation to formulate and blend specialty chemicals. The company sells and services related products and equipment to safely dispense chemicals in highly controlled environments.

Hawkins serves customers in a wide range of industries, including chemical processing, electronics, energy, environmental services, food processing, metal finishing, pharmaceutical, medical devices, pulp and paper, and water treatment.

Hawkins is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The company operates 18 facilities in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, South and North Dakota and Wisconsin and services customers in Upper Michigan and Wyoming as well.