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Source: Birmingham News
A Pennsylvania company will invest $5 million and create 80 new jobs with a new plant in Bessemer.
Liberty Group of Morrisville, Pa., will set up a regional pipe coatings plant through its Liberty Coating Co. in a 131,000-square-foot building in Bessemer’s Interstate Industrial Park, officials said. The building is part of the Pullman-Standard rail car manufacturing operation on 216 acres there. A formal announcement is expected today.
Liberty’s move will bring much-needed jobs to the metro area, where unemployment was at 9½ percent in November, the most recent figure available.
Liberty applies anti-corrosion and mechanical protective coatings inside and outside of pipe used by the natural gas, oil, petrochemical, and water and wastewater industries. The Bessemer operation will be used to store, process and coat pipe.
Don Barder, president of Liberty Coating, said in an interview that his company has been looking in the Birmingham area for about 18 months, drawn by the large number of pipe manufacturers operating here.
“We feel there is an opportunity to grow our business there and throughout the region,” Barder said. “We look forward to expanding what we do in the Northeast and mirroring our success in Alabama.”
Barber said the company might establish a regional sales and distribution operation at the site.
Barder said his brother, Joe Barder, will be the operations manager of the new facility. He said 30 percent of the company’s business in the Northeast is in pipe coatings and company officials see opportunities for growth in the Southeast. The company also provides coatings for other industrial applications.
Mark Byers, Deborah McGill and Hurston Raley of EGS Commercial Real Estate Inc. represented Liberty in its site search. Graham and Co. manages and leases Interstate Industrial Park.
Byers said the potential Liberty found in Birmingham caused the project’s parameters to expand.
“It started as a much smaller project and grew into a larger project as he put his business plan together and saw the opportunity he had in this market,” Byers said.
Byers said although there has been some industrial leasing activity in the metro area recently, deals of this size have become rare amid the downturn. He said to his knowledge, the lease with Liberty is among the largest in the last 12 months.
Liberty was formed with the purchase of a former Halliburton company in 2001. Barder said the facility should begin operating in February and will eventually have 80 or so workers.
[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][ read entire article at al.com ][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]