New business coming to Follansbee

FOLLANSBEE – A new business is coming to the west side of Follansbee, drawn by the property's access to various modes of transportation, according to the Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle. BDC Executive Director Pat Ford said the regional economic development group worked with Trimodal Terminal, the site's owner, to draw Austin, Texas-based FSTI Inc. to a portion of former RG Steel property just south of the Koppers plant. According to FSTI's website, the company produces caustic soda, hydrochloric acid and sodium hypochlorite for various applications, including oilfield production, metal fabrication and other manufacturing and water treatment. Ford said the site is a small portion of about 80 acres along the Ohio River owned by Trimodal Terminal of Weirton. Formed by James Joseph of the Sweetwater Group of Pittsburgh and Scott Ewusiak of Ewusiak Enterprises of Colliers, Trimodal Terminal purchased the former RG Steel property for $229,962 in June 2013, following the steel firm's bankruptcy, according to public documents. Through the BDC's website and its own website, Trimodal Terminal has been marketing the property's proximity to three sources of transportation: the Ohio River, Norfolk-Southern Railroad and several highways within 30 minutes. In a press release, Colliers International, a Pittsburgh real estate agency involved in FSTI's lease of the property, noted the site offers 3,000 feet of riverfront property, capable of housing 40 barges, with plans for an offloading facility; and 22,000 feet of rail lines serviced by Norfolk-Southern Railroad. Colliers International noted about 48 acres remain available at the site, which has access to water, gas and electricity. Ford said FSTI has made plans to invest $1.5 million into the site, including a facility and equipment needed to unload and load chemicals produced by the firm and transported to and from the site by rail and trucks. He said site preparation is expected to begin in the near future. The firm is expected to employ 10 to 15 at the site and has advertised for a terminal manager, with a starting salary of $50,000; and drivers, offering full benefits and signon bonuses for the latter. The Follansbee facility will join FSTI operations in several other states, many of them in the West, and Mexico. – See more at: