On Wednesday, Sept. 15, the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) approved a grant in the amount of $200,000 to the Austin Powder Company (APC) near Zaleski to undertake repairs and rehabilitation to its on-site rail infrastructure.

The infrastructure is in a condition where a large capital project is necessary to ensure railcars are received safely. APC is planning on investing approximately $10 million in the facility over the next three years and will hire 15 employees, bringing their total employment to 265. The project was originally brought to the attention of the ORDC via OhioSE. 

APC is one of the oldest manufacturing enterprises in the State of Ohio and one of the oldest manufacturers of explosives in the world. Located in Vinton County since the 1930s, the project will assist the company to continue to modernize its operations to meet current market demands.

Matthew Dietrich, Executive Director of the ORDC, said: “Given the nature of this business, rail is a critical aspect of its supply chain. As a result of ORDC involvement, Austin Powder will be able to mitigate safety concerns associated with current conditions at the facility and ensure the receipt of its deliveries in a safe and more efficient manner.”

“Austin Powder Company is grateful for ORDC assistance in the rehabilitation of our railroad tracks at our Red Diamond Plant located in Ohio. Without the assistance from ORDC, it would not be possible to repair our rails to like-new condition in such a short timeframe. The ORDC grant is a great opportunity for us to keep our facility operating in a safe and efficient manner while growing our business,” said Don Hays, Head Electrician, Austin Powder Company.

ORDC assists Ohio companies and communities in creating and retaining jobs by preserving rail service to existing shippers and providing rail service to new customers. In addition, the ORDC funds projects to improve railroad-highway grade crossings to increase safety to the traveling public. Please remember: when around railroad tracks, always expect a train. Rail lines in Ohio are private property and trespassing is both strictly prohibited and extremely dangerous.