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Joint Venture Plans Manufacturing Complex in Muncie, Indiana

01/10/2019
Waelz Sustainable Products, a joint venture between Indianapolis-based Heritage Environmental and Monterrey, Mexico-based Zinc Nacional, plans to establish operations in Muncie, Indiana. The project is expected to create 90 jobs over the next several years.

The new facility, which will be located on the former BorgWarner campus, is one part of a significant investment being made by Heritage Environmental to transform the property and facilitate the creation of up to an additional 210 jobs at the repurposed site.

WSP plans to invest $75 million over two phases to construct a new, 30-acre Waelz kiln facility at 5401 W. Kilgore Avenue in Muncie. With demolition of the current site already underway, the company plans to break ground on the facility in early 2019 and be operational by late 2020. At full capacity, WSP will be able to process 100,000 tons of materials annually, producing zinc oxide from steel mill byproducts.

"We are thrilled to be partnering with Zinc Nacional, one of the most respected leaders in zinc manufacturing," said Jeff Laborsky, President & CEO of Heritage Environmental. "As an Indiana-based family business, we are proud to revitalize a brownfield property and bring more opportunity to the City of Muncie. We considered a few other locations in the Midwest but selected Muncie, Indiana because of its superior business climate, community, and its proximity to many of our customers in the steel industry."

The new Waelz kiln is part of a longer-term, major redevelopment being led by Heritage Environmental to repurpose the former Borg Warner industrial site.

The first phase of the development will establish the new Waelz Kiln facility followed by a second phase of development that will create additional space for Heritage Environmental or for additional businesses to locate and create more jobs.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered WSP up to $5 million in conditional tax credits from the Industrial Recovery Tax Credit (DINO) program, which provides an incentive to invest in former industrial sites and improve quality of place in Indiana communities. The city of Muncie and the City of Muncie Redevelopment Commission are also committing substantial support to the project.

To support its kiln facility, WSP plans to begin hiring for positions in management, operations and support during the initial phase of production in early 2020. WSP will work with the city of Muncie and local workforce entities to recruit local residents as potential employees.

“Indiana is home to a growing global economy with more than 950 international business establishments across the state, and I am thrilled to see Waelz Sustainable Products join that list,” Governor Eric J. Holcomb said. “The transformational redevelopment being led by Heritage Environmental and the new manufacturing operation being established by Waelz Sustainable Products will both have a significant impact on the community, revitalizing the area for future growth, enhancing the quality of place in the Muncie community, and providing good, high-paying jobs for the Indiana workforce.”

“After the closing of the Borg Warner plant in 2009 and the subsequent demolition in 2017, it was a concern that this 75-acre site would ever be active again,” Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler said. “We are very excited to partner with Heritage and Zinc Nacional to bring manufacturing back, we hope, for the next 100 years.”

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