New business causes excitement in Jellico

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By Natasha Colbaugh

A visitor to the Jellico Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting brought with him a hopeful industrial prospect.

The visitor, Michael Williams of Montclair Technology LLC., spoke about his plans to open a oil refinery, located on the property of the old Taylor Machine building.

“Our company has developed a proprietary process to refine used motor oil,” said Williams. “It’s a valuable resource that can be turned back to a lubricant.”

The company has six plants around the world in operation, according to Williams.

“Our main desire is to own and operate these plants in the United States,” said Williams. “When we chose this area, we put a lot of research and thought into where our first plant in the United States was going to be. Through a lot of direction we thought Jellico would be a proper candidate for our plant.”

For over six months, Williams has been in contact with Jellico and Campbell County administrators. He plans to purchase the old Taylor Machine building and surrounding property. Williams is also in the process of obtaining state permits to refine the used oil. A state permit to refine oil should be received within 40 days and he hopes to have the business running within the year.

A photo of the Australian plant was passed around at the meeting. The process of the refinery is to bring in used oil and turn it into a base oil to be used for other purposes. Included in the process is propane extraction by vacuum distillation, said Williams.

Factors contributing to the move to Jellico include the placement of the property near I-75. The construction process for the factory is about 11 months. And it will employ up to 40 people.

“This is a business that will be here for 30 to 40 years, where we are not dependant on trees not growing, we are taking a waste material and turning that into something,” said Williams about a long term investment into the community. “If our numbers are correct, we will be contributing about $30 million per year into the economy of Jellico and Campbell County.”
After Williams spoke to the audience and town board he answered several questions.

Producing close to 680 barrels a day, the refinery is in operation 24-hours a day. The business will train between 25 to 40 employees and pay $16 to $25 an hour. The room buzzed with excitement over the pay scale of the future business.