MUNCIE, Ind. – Waelz Sustainable Products LLP (WSP), a joint venture between Indianapolis-based Heritage Environmental and Monterrey, Mexico-based Zinc Nacional, announced plans today to establish operations in Muncie, creating up to 90 jobs over the next several years. The new facility, which will be located on the former Borg Warner 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.
“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.”
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.
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.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Zinc Nacional, one of the most respected leaders in zinc manufacturing,” said Jeff Laborsky, president and 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.
“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.”
“We are elated that the company has chosen Muncie in this highly-competitive environment in which communities around the world are vying for this type of new capital investment and job creation. We pledge our continued support and assistance to help the Muncie facility prosper, as we recognize that their success is also our success,” added Jay Julian, President and Chief Economic Development Officer of the Muncie-Delaware County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Alliance.
WSP will support the metals sector by providing a sustainable manufacturing solution for steel byproducts. Waelz Kiln technology is a proven process for manufacturing valuable zinc from a byproduct of the electric arc furnaces operated by steel mini-mills. Zinc is widely-used in numerous applications such as galvanizing (i.e., protecting) steel, tire and rubber, ceramics, lubricants, motor oil, ointments and more.
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.
WSP is a joint venture between Zinc Nacional and Heritage Environmental founded in 2018 to service the steel mini-mill industry by providing a sustainable solution for by-products. WSP combines the experience of Zinc Nacional as a pioneer in Waelz Kiln technology, along with the environmental expertise and innovation of Heritage Environmental Services.
About Zinc Nacional
Zinc Nacional is a privately-held, family-owned business based in Monterrey, Mexico with more than 60 years of experience in zinc compound production. Zinc Nacional operates Waelz Kiln technology in the U.S., Mexico, South Korea and Turkey.
About Heritage Environmental Services
Heritage Environmental Services is a privately-held, family-owned business headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana with more than 1,600 creative problem-solving team members across North and Central America. Heritage Environmental Services provides a full suite of tailored solutions – from emergency response, waste disposal, sustainability services, brownfield redevelopment, and on-site support and technical solutions – to thousands of customers in hundreds of industries and verticals.