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The Journal Gazette

Lease deal means 300 jobs

Maker of holding tanks to invest $4.2 million on city’s northwest side

Accelerated Tanks and Trailers plans to invest almost $4.2 million in a local operation and hire 300 workers before 2016, the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance announced Monday.

The manufacturer, a division of C&J Services and Supplies, is leasing almost 100,000 square feet at 5201 Investment Drive on the city’s northwest side.

Accelerated makes steel tanks that store water, chemicals and acids. The 20,000-gallon holding tanks are used by companies across the country, including at construction, industrial and environmental cleanup sites, said Derek Nilsen, vice president of marketing.

The company’s patent-pending tank design also appeals to the oil and gas industries. The process of extracting oil and gas requires thousands of gallons of heated water. The insulated tanks reduce the energy needed to heat that water, he said.

Accelerated launched the product line after a customer approached the company about great demand for tanks and trailers in the North Dakota oil fields, Nilsen said.

“It’s not rocket science,” he said. “It’s a big steel box, basically, that we’re building.”

Each tank is about 8 feet wide, 10 feet tall and 45 feet long. They are cut, welded, painted and lined.

The jobs being created include management, office administration and production. About 80 percent of the production jobs will be for welders, Nilsen said.

Average wages are about $48,000, said Ashley Steenman, the alliance’s vice president of business development.

Hiring has already started.

Company officials chose Fort Wayne because they established vendor and employee relationships locally during the past two years as they worked with contract manufacturing operations in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan.

Accelerated considered the other states before choosing Indiana, based on the state’s incentives package.

The company qualifies for $2.55 million in tax credits and additional training money from the Indiana Economic Development Corp.

The Fort Wayne City Council next month will consider a tax abatement that could save the company about $160,000 on real estate and about $200,000 on equipment, Steenman said.

In 2005, food packaging manufacturer Tetra Pak Inc. closed its operation in the same plant and eliminated 72 jobs as it moved work to Vancouver, Wash., and Sikeston, Mo.

But the building has seen new life since November, when the tank and trailer operation started moving in.

Accelerated’s parent company, C&J Services and Supplies, is moving its headquarters from Carmel to Fort Wayne.

C&J has procured goods for the U.S. military since 2001. One C&J division has sourced more than 1,575 different items to the Defense Department, according to the company’s website.

C&J has widened its customer base to include other industries, according to its website.

“Whether it’s military parts, heavy duty truck parts, relief supplies, office furniture, food products or a variety of other products and services, we have the expertise to handle your procurement needs,” C&J says on its home page.