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SHAWNEE, OK-Citing land prices, location and rail service as advantages, Vanguard Stimulation Services LLC has broken ground on a $65-million manufacturing plant in Wolverine Industrial Park. The Houston-based company expects the 70,000-sf-plus plant to come on line by January 2009.

Vanguard’s new factory, set to rise on 60 acres at US Hwy. 18 and Wolverine Road, could employ up to 350 workers by its fifth year of operation. The first-year payroll is projected at $5 million, with first-year revenue estimated at $30.8 million and expected to hit $213 million by the fifth year.

“This fit what their needs were with the rail and accessibility to the interstate,” Pat McCormick, president and CEO of the Shawnee Economic Development Foundation, tells GlobeSt.com. She adds that the city has contributed toward infrastructure costs.

McCormick says rail service was especially important to Vanguard, which uses a new fracturing technology to extract oil and gas in shale reservoirs. As a result, the company will need up to 400 rail cars per month to bring in sand that’s used in the fracturing technology.

McCormick points out that the land, situated on the north side of town behind the Wolverine Tube Plant, had been vacant for many years and was priced at $5,500 per acre. “It was a beautiful piece of property and we’d put out proposals and promoted it as best we could,” she explains.

With Vanguard coming along and taking the land, McCormick sees a benefit for both parties. She says Vanguard is getting needed rail-served land and the city should reap additional businesses to support the energy extraction company.

“Any time you make an announcement of this size, especially when it involves a $65-million investment in the community, it sends a sign to other companies that we’re ready and we can meet their needs,” McCormick says.

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