By the BF Staff
From the July/August 2018 Issue
Officials from Henan, China, Kansas’ sister state for the past 37 years, visited the state in late June as part of an economic development tour. The Henan Provincial Government Delegation was headed by Li Yingjie, Vice Chairman of the Henan Provincial Committee of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
On June 25, Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer, with state officials including Robert North, Interim Secretary of the Kansas Department of Commerce, and International Trade Representative April Chiang, cordially met with the delegation. Chinese Commercial Counselor Zou Xiaoming from Chicago as well as President David Cheng of the Kansas Chinese Association (KCCA) also participated in the event to represent the local and overseas Chinese communities.
After their meeting, the Henan Provincial Government delegation visited the Kansas Department of Agriculture, Kansas Soybean Committee, International Grain Program (IGP), Kansas Wheat Innovation Center, and American Institute of Baking (AIB) International.
“This visit shows that economic cooperation and possibilities between Kansas and Henan are enormous in many areas, including food processing and agribusiness, bioscience and animal health,” said Ms. Chiang.
UNION TANK CAR CO. EXPANDS
This summer, Union Tank Car Company (UTLX) will begin to expand their railcar repair facility in El Dorado, Kansas. UTLX, the largest manufacturer, lessor, and maintainer of rail tank cars in North America, plans to add repair capabilities to this facility.
The El Dorado facility, originally built by UTLX in the early 1960s, is situated on 40 acres of land adjacent to the BNSF Railroad. Increasing repair capabilities along the BNSF will provide UTLX customers with easier access to the company’s best-in-class railcar repair services near the geographic center of the country. The El Dorado facility generally services railcars from customers with tank cars in ethanol service, and hopper cars moving grain and other food-grade products. Expanded capabilities, including exterior blast and paint operations, will allow for the facility to service a broader spectrum of cars from customers’ fleets.
To safely support the facility’s growth, UTLX will also update all aspects of the shop’s infrastructure, including buildings, utilities, and track. The location is certified by the Association of American Railroads to perform all railcar-related maintenance activities, including tank qualifications, valve removal and replacement, valve rebuilding and general mechanical repairs.
The Kansas Department of Commerce is working with UTLX to assist in the expansion through various tax incentives. UTLX foresees hiring approximately 70 new employees. The expansion project is estimated to be completed by early 2019.