SunCoke Creates Jobs and Energy in Middletown
SunCoke Energy, a subsidiary of Sunoco, Inc., is building a $360 million coke plant in Middletown, located adjacent to AK Steel’s Middletown Works. Expected to be complete in September 2011, the project will create approximately 550 construction jobs and 86 new Ohio steel industry jobs.
Under a 20-year supply agreement, the 100-oven facility will
supply AK Steel with roughly 550,000 tons of blast furnace coke delivered via conveyer annually.
Previously, AK Steel purchased 25 percent of its yearly coke requirements on the open market.
“Our long-term agreement with SunCoke Energy to supply AK Steel with coke and electrical power is one of the most forward-looking commitments by our company in recent years,” said AK Steel President and CEO James L. Wainscott.
The 157-acre state-of-the-art plant will be the cleanest of its kind in the nation with a network of ambient air quality monitors that include volatile organic compound monitors and a sulfur dioxide monitor. Using advanced technology, the facility will also recover waste heat from the coking process to generate around 46 megawatts of electrical power each year, about 25 percent of Middletown Works’ energy requirements.
Even with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) stringent requirements, Gov. Ted Strickland’s administration worked to see that this plant received all necessary permits and approval from the U.S. EPA.
“Steel has been a vital part of Ohio’s history and we are working every day to make steel a vital part of Ohio’s future,” Strickland said. “We are proud to have worked with SunCoke and AK Steel to bring hundreds of new jobs and the cleanest coke plant in the country to southwest Ohio.”
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown said, “Ohio already has a skilled workforce and a rich manufacturing heritage, spurred by projects like these that lead to good-paying jobs. Simply put, this would be one of the largest cogeneration power projects in the nation—and it’s happening right here in Middletown.”
Pro-Tec Coating Adds More Steel for Leipsic, OH
Pro-Tec Coating Company is expanding its operation in Leipsic with a more than $290 million project scheduled to begin construction in the fall of 2010. It includes the addition of a 415,000-square-foot building, the creation of 80 jobs and the retention of 229 jobs.
As a result of its expansion, the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) approved a 70 percent Job Creation Tax Credit (given through the Ohio Tax Credit Authority) for Pro-Tec estimated at $681,694 for a ten-year term. A condition of the grant requires the company to maintain its operations for the next 13 years.
The average wage of the new jobs will be $20.50 per hour, plus $12 per hour in benefits, which the State Department reported would add $3.4 million to Pro-Tec’s payroll within three years.
Pro-Tec, whose parent corporations are U.S. Steel and Kobe Steel of Japan, coats and treats sheet steel with corrosive-resistant zinc. for use in automotive parts including body panels.
Solar Panel Venture Planned for The Wilds
Construction of a solar farm on a former strip mine next to the Wilds is expected to create up to 600 jobs in Ohio.
Building the 49.9-megawatt farm, dubbed the Turning Point Solar project, is expected to require approximately 300 jobs during peak construction. An additional 300 permanent jobs are expected as the two Spanish companies manufacturing components for the venture plan to locate their North American operations in Ohio, according to a release from Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland’s office.
Although the solar farm will be in Muskingum County, officials in surrounding counties are excited about the prospects.
“The location of the panels are actually going to be closer to Caldwell than Zanesville,” said Scott Braden, president of the Noble County Community Improvement Corporation. “I’m sure that a lot of those jobs are going to spill over regionally, and Noble County should be able to (benefit from) some of those jobs.”
Braden was in Columbus for signing ceremonies in the governor’s cabinet room, during which American Electric Power CEO Michael Morris inked a deal to purchase power from the facility for 20 years to help fulfill state minimums for renewable energy.
Spain-based Prius Energy S.L. and Isofoton have agreed, pending approval of incentives by state and local governments, to open new manufacturing facilities in the Buckeye State to help construct the 239,400 solar panels for the array.
NW Ohio Firm to Create 363 New Jobs
The state has granted a new northwest Ohio business a tax credit to create centers in three area cities, which will create hundreds of new jobs. Ruralogic is expected to create 363 new information technology jobs (121 in each of its offices). Offices will be in Bryan, Napoleon and Archbold. The corporate headquarters will be on West Mulberry Street in Bryan.
The company is an offshoot of the global business and information technology consulting firm of Attevo. Ruralogic will provide tier one development and management for companies, which includes SharePoint management, report writing and JAVA and .Net program development. The company aims at returning information technology jobs that have been outsourced internationally.
Ohio Department of Development awarded a 60 percent Job Creation Tax Credit for eight years for the firm’s locations in Bryan, Napoleon and Archbold. The value of the tax credit is approximately $707,700 at each location and the company is required to maintain operations at the sites for 11 years.
Joe Burmester, co-founder and chief executive office of Ruralogic, said the company’s top leaders, including co-founder and chairman C. David Snyder and president Rex Plouck, are very familiar with the area. “We have a great work force in northwest Ohio,” Burmester said. “They have a good work ethic and education. We have a good technical schools and colleges around here and we like the place. This is where we grew up. We have to start one place and do it well to get it going. It made sense to do it in northwest Ohio.”
While the company already has found its office in Bryan, deals have not yet been completed for locations in Archbold and Napoleon. It has been estimated that the average wage of employees will be $20.50 an hour.