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Univar to detail its plans for Everson facility

| Saturday, May 3, 2014, 12:21 a.m.

Everson council will hear more about Univar's plans for expansion of its facility in the borough during a nonvoting work session at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Council President Mike Banaszak said the information meeting is for Univar representatives to brief council. A public meeting will be held at a later date.

Residents may attend the information meeting, however.

The plant, formerly owned by Magnablend Inc., could be in line for an expansion of its rail and truck-handling facilities, according to Brian Banerdt, vice president of global operations at Univar oil, gas and mining.

Univar is a corporation with headquarters in Redmond, Wash. The branch of the corporation that supplies the oil and natural gas industries is located in Houston.

The expansion, according to Banerdt, is in the preliminary planning stage. He said the early projected cost to the company is approximately $1 million to $2 million. He did not know how many additional employees would be hired.

“It is really early (in the planning process,)” said Banerdt, when contacted by phone earlier in the week. “What we're looking to potentially do is expanding (the Everson plant). We currently own the site.

“We are a chemical distributor and blender,” he continued. “Nothing will be manufactured in Everson. I'm going there with my engineering group. We will have a better idea of the total estimated cost (after the visit.) Then we can run a business case.”

The plan calls for expansion of the rail and trucking facilities to handle railroad tank cars of hydrochloric acid that will be shipped in from West Virginia. The acid, used in the fracking drilling process, will then be transferred to trucks for shipment to drilling sites in the area.

Hydrochloric acid, while corrosive, is not flammable or explosive. The acid is regulated by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Banerdt said he would be able to gauge any pushback from the community on Tuesday. If it appears there is a strong negative reaction, the company may expand another facility in Pittsburgh or Altoona.

The state Department of Environmental Protection said there are no compliance issues with the company at Everson.

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