With a price tag at least six times the cost of Chattanooga's Volkswagen plant, the planned $6.5 billion Uranium Processing Facility in nearby Oak Ridge is "the project of a lifetime" and a catalyst for growing area companies, an official said Thursday.

"This area is in a very desirable position. Proximity has its advantages," said UPF director John Eschenberg about prospects that local businesses can tap into building the facility dubbed the state's biggest construction project since World War II.

About 150 business people showed up at a briefing in Chattanooga on how their companies can land a part of the UPF at the Y-12 National Security Complex. Nearly half of the investment in the weapons plant will go into materials and equipment.

"I want to make sure Chattanooga businesses get their fair piece of the pie," said U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleishmann, R-Tenn., whose congressional district includes both Chattanooga and Oak Ridge.

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