CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The West Virginia Economic Development Authority voted to approve a $2 million loan to Skana Aluminum Co. at its monthly meeting on Thursday morning.The 20-year loan will help Skana purchase a building currently owned by Family Aluminum in Clarksburg.On Sept. 20, the EDA approved the transfer of a $2.7 million loan to Skana from Scott Aluminum to help Skana purchase the equipment in the plant owned by Scott.Created in November 2009, Skana currently operates an aluminum production facility in Manitowoc, Wis. The company produces aluminum coils and flat-rolled aluminum products.
Over the next three years, Skana plans to increase its in Clarksburg staff from 35 to 48 workers, according to the EDA.After the meeting, David Warner, EDA's executive director, said the Clarksburg plant "started in the 1980s and operated for 30 years. In recent years, it hit hard times" because of declining prices in the aluminum market.The Clarksburg facility, Warner explained, buys big aluminum coils, heats them up, then cuts the metal to make conduits that protect electric wires and cables. The company also makes aluminum products used in lighting equipment and household appliances, including washers and dryers."We are hoping to grow the existing market here in Clarksburg," Warner said. In April 2011, the EDA transferred its earlier $3.2 million loan to Aluminum Services to Scott Aluminum, which is based in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.Aluminum Services, based in Morgantown, had used its EDA loan to buy property and manufacturing equipment from the Precision Coils aluminum factory in Clarksburg, which had closed a year earlier.Precision Coil closed the Clarksburg plant in April 2009 because of declining aluminum prices. That closure put 100 employees out of work.During the meeting at its headquarters in Northgate Business Park in Charleston, the EDA also gave final approval to a $450,000 loan to Preston Machine Inc, located in Kingwood. The loan will last for 10 years at two percent interest.Preston Machine does metal fabrication and machine design, and also operates a rebuild shop.The company serves the coal, timber, heavy equipment and water treatment industries at its Kingwood facility.The EDA loan will help Preston Machine expand its current workforce from 12 to 24 employees after three years.