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Point’s tenants list projects

Lawrence County’s newest industrial neighbors share space in the county’s newest park – The Point industrial park.

Wednesday, January 16, 2002

Lawrence County’s newest industrial neighbors share space in the county’s newest park – The Point industrial park.

The Point is the former South Point Ethanol property now owned by the LEDC, and designated part of the federal Empowerment Zone agreement between Ironton and Huntington, W.Va.

At the Lawrence Economic Development Corporation breakfast Tuesday, four companies listed current and new business plans that mean at least 75 jobs and millions in private investment centered on The Point:

– Superior Marine, with a port facility and possible manufacturing plant; Mid Valley Supply, with a new facility; Wilson Services, with pipe valve and fitting services; and RDI Construction.

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SUPERIOR

"We’ve grown up in Lawrence County and we’d like to generate as much product here as we can," said Matthew Manns, vice president of Superior, announcing intentions to manufacture a new product in The Point.

That product, called "New Metal," is an advanced industrial lubricant. It’s a friction reducer that uses natural oil as a carrier, and does not contain Teflon.

"We’re excited about this product," Manns said, adding that the company has been manufacturing it in Orlando, Fla., for just over four years.

The company plans to move that manufacturing into The Point over the next five or six years, he said.

It’s hard to gauge the number of jobs that could be created – it all depends on contracts and market demand – but it could be bigger than what’s expected, especially if a "large company" contract currently in negotiation comes through, Manns said.

"We’re looking at being a small fish in a large pond but with New Metal, hopefully, we can get in and compete and give back," he said.

The company would phase-in the local manufacturing a little at a time, but with about 10 to 15 jobs in the first year alone," Manns said.

"So, short term, we’re looking at securing a place now with enough room for the expansion we feel will come rather quickly," he said. "It’s truly going to be an international product."

The best possible result would be a big boom for the product, spelling a large facility and many many jobs; the worst-case scenario is only an office there but it would still provide business and tax base for The Point, he added.

Meanwhile, Superior, a harbor service business in South Point, is continuing its project to bring stevedoring services to the riverfront portion of the industrial park.

"One of the most important things with this park will be the connection with the river," Manns said.

Superior has created 18 jobs over the last year and expects more this year, spending $2 million on the riverfront expansion. The company is currently working with park manager Roger Haley of the LEDC to get electrical power to the site.

 

MID VALLEY

Mid Valley Supply, a subsidiary of M & M Service Inc., announced its work with the LEDC and The Point has retained 28 jobs.

The company is finishing its building on park property, and projects about a 20 percent growth rate with higher-salaried jobs, company officials said.

The LEDC’s annual report for 2001 states Mid Valley’s current construction project will house 40 new jobs.

WILSON

Another Point newcomer – again related to industrial service provider M & M Service Inc. – is Wilson Services, said Jan Hager of that company.

It’s a division of Smith International out of Houston, Texas, the third largest pipe valve and fitting distributor.

Wilson is a new firm with 14 jobs, millions of dollars in inventory and a potential to grow its business throughout the southern United States from its Ironton location.

 

RDI

George Reigel of RDI Construction discussed the company’s history, from when it started off in 1983 doing industrial maintenance at the former ethanol plant to now selling a fuel additive.

RDI supplies the additive to large fuel users like railroads and mines from the local area to Europe and Australia.

The company is looking to expand its facility in South Point, as well as its business around the globe, Reigel said.