CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Raleigh County-based analytical laboratory company is adding a new department, equipment and doubling its building space as it continues to grow, the company's vice president said Thursday.The West Virginia Economic Development Authority gave preliminary approval for a $900,000 loan to Analabs Inc.Analabs, the largest drug testing company in the state, works with Drug and Alcohol Program Management Services, said Kelli Harrison, vice president of Analabs.The company also provides drug testing and lab work for air quality testing, waste and drinking water plants, coal companies, engineering firms, public school systems and more, she said.Part of the EDA loan will help fund the Crab Orchard-based company's $400,000 investment in equipment for its new organic analysis department.Analabs has performed inorganic analysis since it opened in 1987. Inorganic testing incorporates metals and nutrients and is used for the coal industry whereas organic testing is used for landfills, hazardous waste sites and drinking water facilities, Harrison said.The rest of the loan will go toward the 7,000 square feet of additional space that will be added to the existing 7,000-square-foot facility.
"We're progressively getting larger. We've grown a lot over the last several years," Harrison said.She said construction hasn't started on the new building and won't for a "couple of months."The expansion is necessary because the inorganic and organic labs can't share the same air unit system."We have to have a new building because that [organic] type of analysis has to be air-locked," Harrison said. "The type we do currently has components and chemicals that would contaminate the organic analysis and that can't be in the same air space."
The extra space will also house more offices and a clean room that will be used to analyze low levels of mercury, Harrison said.Analabs already tests mercury, but there is an updated low level mercury requirement businesses must meet now, she said.No other lab in the state tests for low-level mercury, Harrison said."When coal companies have to apply for a new permit, they have to look for low level mercury. Sewage plants and landfills have to do it, too," Harrison said. "The level was lowered from what they had to look for previously. [Before], you could just use regular mercury analysis, but because they lowered the level, you have to look for the detection level done with low level mercury."
The loan is expected to add 14 jobs over the next three years, according to the EDA.Also on Thursday, EDA board members approved a resolution to submit a $5 million offer for Silgan Plastics Corporation's 120,000-square foot warehouse and distribution facility in Triadelphia from the Ohio County Development Authority.The Ohio County Development Authority constructed the building beginning in 2011 and has been leasing the space to Silgan Plastics, which has 20 plants in the Midwest.The plastics company uses the space as storage for its container products and some manufacturing."To entice Silgan to expand in West Virginia, the Ohio County Development Authority only borrowed money to build the building knowing we're going to buy the building," said David Warner, executive director of the EDA.Reach Megan Workman at firstname.lastname@example.org