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Butler County railroad tank car company to expand, add 70 jobs

The Union Tank Car Co. facility in El Dorado services and maintains tank rail cars like the one pictured here.
The Union Tank Car Co. facility in El Dorado services and maintains tank rail cars like the one pictured here. Union Tank Car Co.

Union Tank Car Co. in El Dorado is expanding its operations and plans to more than triple its workforce.

Union Tank, a Chicago-based company owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, said Thursday expansion of its 40-acre El Dorado facility will include the addition of exterior blast and paint operations, and new welding and valve repair equipment as well as updates to the site's buildings, utilities and track.

The facility mostly repairs tank cars used by ethanol firms and hopper cars that transport grain and other food products.

“This expansion project has been thoughtfully planned because we see so much more potential to help customers in the Midwest by growing our repair capabilities in El Dorado,” Neil Finn, general manager of shop operations at UTLX, said in a news release.

The El Dorado facility, which is adjacent to the BNSF railroad, has been operating since the 1960s and currently employs 30 people.

The 70 additional jobs will be added over the next few years, the company said. A spokeswoman said the new jobs would pay "competitive wages" but didn't specify amounts.

Union Tank, a manufacturer, lessor and maintainer of rail tank cars, said it is working with the Kansas Department of Commerce for tax incentives for the expanded operations. Commerce spokesman Kevin Doel said in an e-mail he wasn't able to say what incentives the state is offering until after contracts are signed by the state and company.

"In cases such as this project with Union Tank Car Company, it would not be uncommon to include our standard incentive programs," he said. Those standard incentive programs include PEAK, or Promoting Employment Across Kansas, which allows a company to keep 95 percent of the state withholding tax on the new jobs it creates over a period of time.

The project is expected to be completed by early next year.

Jerry Siebenmark: 316-268-6576, @jsiebenmark
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