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Posted by Heidi Schwartz
Twenty years after the closing of the former Superconducting Super Collider, U.S. Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX 06) returned to tour the revitalized Ellis County facility following a year of renovations by Waxahachie chemical manufacturer Magnablend. Early in his congressional tenure Barton was instrumental in bringing the SSC facility to Ellis County.
“It was very nostalgic to return to the old SSC complex,” said Barton. “Since the cancellation of the project, it has been a reminder of what could have been. Today I got a chance to see what it has now become – an economic engine in Ellis County. It was great to see so many people working there.”
Magnablend employs 97 people at the facility and 411 nationwide. A remarkable success record and optimism toward the future has driven an increase in employment, both within Ellis County and throughout the energy and agricultural producing regions in North America.
“The SSC site has given Magnablend an ideal location to continue to grow our business as we keep pace with increasing demands from our customers,” said Scott Pendery, president and CEO of Magnablend. “In doing so, we’ve been able to make a previously vacant property viable and productive again, increase jobs and provide Ellis County with additional tax revenue and economic development.”
“The development of shale gas has been key to the economy of North Texas and is fueling the growing energy market in the U.S.,” said Barton. “I was truly amazed by the extra lengths Magnablend has gone to in developing state of the art facilities. The company’s dedication to producing quality products while committing to employee safety and environmental protection is impressive.”
“Our SSC facility is capable of producing a diverse range of oil field products for the energy service industry,” said Pendery.
From its early beginnings in proposal documents in 1983, to its eventual cancellation in 1993, the Superconducting Super Collider facility heralded the United States’ preeminence in scientific discovery. After nearly 20 years of abandonment and neglect, the SSC facility was purchased by Magnablend in 2012, beginning immediate and extensive renovation.
On the inside, the buildings of the 135-acre campus had become a prime spot for thieves and drug parties. Every building had been broken into and stripped of anything that could be hauled and sold for scrap. Left behind were holes in the ceiling, graffiti tagged walls and the remains of multiple alcohol and drug parties.
One year later, what is now the Magnablend Specialty Services Complex (SSC) has become a company showpiece that rivals any plant being built today. The company took the shell of these dilapidated buildings and brought them into the 21st century as viable structures. Throughout the process, Magnablend worked closely with industry experts, local authorities and the TCEQ to create an environmentally responsible and safe production facility.
Founded in 1979, Magnablend specializes in custom chemical manufacturing, blending, and packaging for a variety of industries, including: energy/oil and gas services, agriculture, water treatment, construction, and industrial cleaning. The company blends guar gum slurries, fluid loss additives, buffers, breakers, friction reducers, spacers, specialty cement additives, root stimulators, micro nutrients, nitrogen stabilizers, animal nutrients, coil cleaners, degreasers, and car wash products. In 2012, Magnablend became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Univar.