October 4, 2011

State of Alabama
Press Release: Alabama Department of Commerce

ThyssenKrupp Supplier Vail Rubber Works Plans Axis Plant


MOBILE, Alabama -- Another company that does business with ThyssenKrupp AG is planning a new location in Mobile County.

Vail Rubber Works of St. Joseph, Mich., said today that it plans to invest $2.07 million to build a plant in Axis that would supply rollers to the German steelmaker. Vail would initially hire six people, paying them almost $61,000 a year, on average. Company President Joseph W. Hanley said that if the business is successful, employment could grow over time to around 50 employees. That's about the size of the firm's plants in Michigan and Middletown, Ohio.

The Mobile County Industrial Development Authority voted 2-0 to grant $147,680 of sales and property tax breaks to Vail. That includes the waiver of $56,000 in sales taxes on equipment and construction material and $91,680 of non-school property taxes over 10 years.

The company is at least the fifth in a series of suppliers to and customers of ThyssenKrupp to announce southwest Alabama locations.

Vail makes rubber and polyurethane rolls that are used in processing steel and making paper. The company said it has sold $1 million worth of equipment to ThyssenKrupp in the last year, and expects to deliver another $1 million by the end of this year.

The rolls are heavy and family-owned Vail would like to court other steel mill customers in the region, including Axis neighbor SSAB. So the company wants to buy 8 acres of land in an industrial park at U.S. 43 and Salco Road and build a 12,000 square-foot building. Hanley said Vail has plans to grow to as large as 50,000 square feet over time.

The company hopes to break ground next month and complete construction of the initial phase by April.

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