The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

May 6, 2012

Ashtabula County Port Authority capitalizes on Plant C scrap metal

JEFFERSON — Like the fellows who collect scrap metal in shopping carts and pickup trucks, the Ashtabula County Port Authority is capitalizing on the hot scrap metal market.

Executive Director Sean Ratican said the board last year signed an agreement with Manafort, a Connecticut company, to scrap out non-structural assets of Plant C, which is owned by the authority. The assets include the generators, old motors and other industrial surplus that could be cut up and sold for its scrap value.

“We’ve capitalized on the scrap market at a time when it was at one of its high points,” Ratican said.

While he could not say how much money the authority has made off the scrap, he said the proceeds are being used to maintain the large building, the lower levels of which hold the massive pumps that send raw water to Lake Road chemical industries. The authority recently had to come up with thousands of dollars to repair the building’s roof.

In addition to preserving hundreds of jobs by keeping the water flowing, the authority created about a dozen positions for local workers involved in the scrap project. Originally, Manafort subcontracted with Ashtabula Iron and Metal to do the work. When AIM went bankrupt, Manafort took over the project and offered the jobs to the former AIM employees, Ratican said.

“Most of them declined,” he added.

Ratican said the scrap project is coming to a close because they are running out of material that is not part of the structure.

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