Exal nixes 300-job, $400M expansion plan

By Karl Henkel



Exal Corp. isn’t divulging the reasons it won’t go forward with a substantial project in Youngstown.

But a representative said Wednesday Exal’s proposed $400 million expansion is no longer part of the company’s plans.

The spokeswoman said the decision “has nothing to do with money.”

Exal, which makes aluminum cans and bottles at the city’s Performance Place Business Park on Poland Avenue, had considered for about three years whether it would move ahead with the construction of a $400 million project in the city’s Salt Springs Road Business Park.

The project was expected to add about 300 jobs and nearly double its current Mahoning Valley work force of about 400.

Eric Planey, vice president of international business attraction for the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, said he didn’t know the exact reasons behind Exal’s decision but that there’s a chance the company eventually could expand in Youngstown.

“I don’t think it’s a dead deal,” he said. “I think in the future it could be looked at again.”

Youngstown received $4.3 million in November 2008 from the state to improve a 61-acre site at Salt Springs for Exal.

The money was used to purchase the property for $1.4 million from LaFarge North America Inc., which used it to mine slag, as well as to make major site improvements and install water, sewer, gas and electric lines.

Exterran Energy Solutions instead will occupy that space.

The Houston-based company plans to start construction in February on a 65,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and office building to be operational in about a year.

The company provides a variety of above-ground services for fracking.

T. Sharon Woodberry, the city’s economic development director, previously told The Vindicator that the city hadn’t given up on Exal’s expansion but that the company did not give a “firm time line,” prompting the city to offer the land to Exterran.

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