Virginia state and local officials were on hand Tuesday when Loudoun County received a rare visit from royalty: Prince Henrik of Denmark arrived at the American headquarters of Mil-Tek, an international Danish company that produces environmentally-friendly recycling and waste disposal equipment, to oversee the launch of the company’s newest recycling machine.

State Sen. Mark R. Herring (D-Loudoun & Fairfax), State Del. Thomas A. “Tag” Greason (R), Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney James Plowman, Loudoun Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott K. York (I-At Large) and Supervisor Stevens Miller (D-Dulles) applauded as Prince Henrik led the demonstration of the EPS 1800, a machine that compresses polystyrene – a plastic foam packaging material that does not break down in landfills.

By compacting and recycling polystyrene with the EPS 1800, a company can reduce its existing waste costs by up to 80 percent, according to Mil-Tek.

Bryan Wingfield, president and CEO of Mil-Tek USA, said the company settled in Ashburn in February after considering a number of possible locations for its U.S. headquarters. Ashburn’s proximity to the coast as well as to a major international airport were among the deciding factors, he said.

“We’re really pleased,” he said. “It’s been perfect for us.”

The company will initially focus on distribution of the equipment, but plans to grow and expand to ultimately include assembly operations in the United States with the next few years, Wingfield said.

Miller said that the arrival of Mil-Tek to Loudoun’s growing Dulles technology corridor is evidence that the county is increasingly competitive in a global business market.

“It’s a terrific gain. This is a major employer,” Miller said. “This is more proof that Loudoun County is becoming the world’s destination to do business.”

The Obama administration was also represented at the event – Barry Johnson, senior adviser to the Economic Development Administration and director of the office of strategic initiatives at the U.S. Department of Commerce, said Mil-Tek was an ideal “case study” of the type of foreign business investment that the president hopes to encourage.

Obama “is quite spirited about the importance of creating jobs in innovative ways, and this company is a great example,” Johnson said.