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Environmental services firm to build $40M refinery

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Heritage-Crystal Clean Inc., a waste-management company with ties to  locally based Calumet Specialty Products Partners LP, plans to build its first used oil re-refinery,  on West 10th Street in Indianapolis.

The project will be a $40 million investment for the NASDAQ-traded company, and will result in 75 new jobs by 2013, according to a press release from the Indiana Economic Development Corp.

Heritage-Crystal did not disclose the address of the planned refinery, but it has existing operations at 3970 W. 10th St. in Speedway. The company purchased that site, which it had previously leased, in June of 2009, according to its annual report. Indianapolis is the largest of the company's four operations hubs and is home to a state-of-the-art solvent recycling tower, according to the annual report.

Heritage-Crystal is based in Elgin, Ill., but has its roots in Indianapolis. Its major shareholders are Heritage Group and Fred Fehsenfeld, Jr., whose family started Calumet Specialty Products and took it public in 2005. Organized in Indiana in 1999, Heritage Crystal Clean has been expanding the parts-cleaning and used-oil-recycling business started by its predecessor about 30 years ago.

The company provides services for parts cleaning, containerized waste management, used oil collection and vacuum truck services to customers in the automotive service and manufacturing industries. It has 500 employees and operates 62 branches in the Midwest and eastern states.

Heritage-Crystal expects to start operating the new re-refinery at partial capacity in 2012 and is in the process of hiring oil route drivers, plant operators, maintenance and supervisory personnel, according to the IEDC.

"We chose Indiana because it is centrally located with good infrastructure and supports the recycling of used oil," said Joe Chalhoub, CEO and President for Heritage-Crystal Clean, in a prepared statement.

The IEDC offered Heritage Crystal-Clean up to $550,000 in performance-based tax credits based on the company's job-creation plans. Up to an additional $100,000 will be made available to the city of Indianapolis for infrastructure improvements from the state's Industrial Development Grant Fund. The city of Indianapolis has granted Heritage Crystal-Clean a $2.3 million property-tax abatement and $150,000 for additional infrastructure assistance at the request of Develop Indy.

"It's always great for the town when a business starts, grows and stays a part of the community. The jobs and the investment represent a commitment to the town of Speedway and demonstrate that this is a great place to do business," said Barbara Lawrence, town manager for Speedway, in a prepared statement.

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  1. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

  2. If you only knew....

  3. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.

  4. The facts contained in your post make your position so much more credible than those based on sheer emotion. Thanks for enlightening us.

  5. Please consider a couple of economic realities: First, retail is more consolidated now than it was when malls like this were built. There used to be many department stores. Now, in essence, there is one--Macy's. Right off, you've eliminated the need for multiple anchor stores in malls. And in-line retailers have consolidated or folded or have stopped building new stores because so much of their business is now online. The Limited, for example, Next, malls are closing all over the country, even some of the former gems are now derelict.Times change. And finally, as the income level of any particular area declines, so do the retail offerings. Sad, but true.

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