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10X breaks ground in Wabash

OPEN: Grow Wabash County President and CEO Keith Gillenwater talks about the work that went into bringing 10X Engineered Materials to Wabash. He and Mayor Scott Long welcomed 10X Officer Jacob Vaillancourt (right) during a formal groundbreaking ceremony for the company on Thursday.

by MACKENZI KLEMANN - mklemann@wabashplaindealer.com

Clean-tech startup 10X Engineered Materials started its move into the old Spiece Warehouse on Manchester Avenue on Thursday afternoon, marking the occasion with a groundbreaking ceremony attended by about a dozen local and state representatives.

The new company will recycle waste from area manufacturers, a process which is expected to divert some 36,000 cubic yards in waste that is currently headed to the landfill, according to Keith Gillenwater, president and CEO of Grow Wabash County.

Negotiations between 10X representatives and city officials took place for nearly one year before the company closed on the property at 1162 Manchester Ave. on June 29.

Company representatives are now in the early stages of moving into the building before interior remodeling and electrical work will begin. The goal is to have the plant operational by the start of 2019. Up to 26 new jobs are expected as a result.

How did the company first learn about Wabash? 10X Officer Jake Vaillancourt says the startup's parent company, Waste Hub LLC, was originally contacted several years ago by two local manufacturers that were interested in developing sustainable solutions for their waste products.

“Originally, they were thinking about doing this at their own site but decided that this was its own business,” Vaillancourt said. That's when the company started raising money and looking for a location to do business. “Now we have to build the things inside of it that can convert the waste into a product.”

The company plans to invest $4 million to establish a 50,000-square-foot operations center at the old Spiece Warehouse, with another 22,000 square feet available for future growth.