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Sistersville Tank Works unveils new facility

Parkersburg News and Sentinel photo by Brett Dunlap Sistersville Tank Works commemorated the opening of its 40,000-square-foot building along West Virginia 2 near the Wood and Pleasants County border Thursday.
Parkersburg News and Sentinel photo by Brett Dunlap
Sistersville Tank Works commemorated the opening of its 40,000-square-foot building along West Virginia 2 near the Wood and Pleasants County border Thursday.

ST. MARYS, W.Va. — The opening of an industrial tank construction facility in Pleasants County will create opportunities locally and statewide and allow a family-owned company to better compete on the world market.

Company representatives, elected officials, community and business leaders gathered at the new Sistersville Tank Works facility along West Virginia 2 near the Wood and Pleasants County border Thursday to commemorate its completion and work commencing there.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin was on hand to offer his praise for what was being accomplished there.

“This is a big investment,” Tomblin said. “They will be shipping products from here all over the world. This is the only facility of this type east of the Mississippi River. It will be the only one along the East Coast that can make the tanks the size they are making at this facility. It puts them in a good position,” Tomblin said.

The 40,000-square-foot building, constructed by Mondo Building and Excavating Inc., sits on a 16-acre tract of land that includes access to the Ohio River and railways for the company to ship its products by river and railroad.

Construction on the $5 million facility started last spring after two years of planning. Officials realized their original site in Sistersville could not accommodate some of the needs their customers were asking for with heavier and larger pieces of equipment.

Sistersville Tank Works is a manufacturer of custom ASME-code pressure vessels and shell-and-tube heat exchangers, API-spec storage tanks, reactors, processing columns and other specialty products. Domestic and international industries served by Sistersville Tank Works include chemical manufacturers and processors, oil producers and refiners, power generators and pharmaceutical companies.

Darlene Morgan and her mother, Janet Wells, bought the company 30 years ago and have been continuing to grow and develop the business. The company is maintaining its original facility at 1942 McCoy Ave. in Sistersville.

Sistersville Tank Works Chief Financial Officer Jason Morgan, Darlene’s son, greeted those in attendance.

“As you look around, I am sure the same thing is running through most of you minds, ‘Wow, this is a big building,”‘ he said. “You are right.

“We have designed this building to fit with our customers’ needs. Lately, those needs have included tanks and vessels that our Sistersville plant struggled with. A lot of projects we simply did not get to take part in due to size limitations and the capabilities of our 100-year-old plant.”

The facility includes four overhead cranes with a combined lifting capacity of 190 tons, a state-of-the-art welding system, and plate forming rolls to bend steel to the customer’s specifications.

Facilities in Texas and Oklahoma are the ones many companies think of when they need something of that scale, Jason Morgan said. “With what you see here, we can now add West Virginia to that list with a company that has prided itself in quality and safety for over 120 years,” he said. “No job too small, and now, no job too big.

“We build what others can’t.”

The company has built its reputation on quality, craftsmanship and continually producing products that met customer needs and worked as the customer expected them to.

“To this day, we believe in taking care of our employees who are some of the top craftsmen in the nation,” Jason Morgan said. “We are dedicated to a safe work environment and continually work to improve on our safety program.

“We will continue that environment here in Pleasants County. We will continue our dedication to high quality products and pushing our limits to be the best,” he said.

The company has bought land adjacent to the new facility in the belief it will be able to expand in the future, whether it is creating another facility like the one it just built or something else, officials said.

Safety is always a concern for the company.

Carla Campbell of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said the company has the opportunity to address safety from the beginning at the new facility.

“I encourage you to use safety as a ground floor and build on that and achieve all of your goals here,” she said.

For some companies safety is an afterthought, something to address as time allows, Campbell said.

“However, it is something that brings production to a standstill if an employee is injured,” Campbell said.

“Your personal commitment to safety is a gift to yourself, your loved ones and your employees,” Campbell said.

Darlene Morgan spoke of how the employees, who are like an extended family, customers and those around the community have helped make the company successful.

“We would like to thank all who have made this possible,” she said. “We believe with God’s guidance Sistersville Tank Works, Pleasants County and Tyler County operations, will be a valuable asset to the great state of West Virginia.”

The new site will initially create around 30 jobs with the potential for more in the future.

Tomblin commended the company for helping to diversify the state’s economy as well as the state for its commitment to help businesses grow by trying to provide an educated and drug-free workforce.

“We are here to celebrate a West Virginia company that is growing, expanding and achieving long-term success,” the governor said.

As natural gas development and other industries continue to expand statewide, companies, including Sistersville Tank Works, will expand to meet new demands, Tomblin said. This company is now poised to make a significant impact within the United States and beyond, he added.

“With this outstanding new facility, you are creating jobs for hard working West Virginians, improving the local economy and helping put people back to work which is something we can all be proud of,” Tomblin said. “This is a place that will be in business for many years.”

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