New Pig Corp. receives notification of PIDA loan

The “Piggers” at New Pig Corp. just seem to keep plugging away.
Even after an October fire gutted one of the company’s most important buildings, the employees, affectionately known as “Piggers,” didn’t miss a beat as work at the containment absorbent manufacturing company continued the very next morning.
On Tuesday, the “Piggers” moved another step forward when they learned their parent company was going to be one of four Pennsylvania businesses that will receive a Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority loan.
According to Rebecca Cowan, the company’s vice-president of finance, the company should receive the loan within the next 45 days. She said it will be used to purchase and renovate a 45,000-square-foot building the company is currently renting at the Ardie J. Dillen Industrial Park in Antis Township.
“When we lost our big building in October, we had to relocate 74 sales, service and technical people,” said Cowan. “We rented the building from C-COR Electronic and these people that were displaced in October moved right in. It’s a perfect fit for what we want to do.”
Cowan said the decision to move to the C-COR building was a mutual decision.
“We were looking for a building that could accommodate what we want to do,” said Cowan, “and they (C-COR) were trying to sell the building.”
The loan comes on the heels of a recent decision by the Antis Township Board of Supervisors to grant the company a building permit to rebuild the lost warehouse facility.
“We’re shooting for six months,” said Scott Diminick, plant manager at New Pig, in a previous interview with The Daily Herald. “Everything looks good for an August opening.”
Diminick said the supervisors gave approval for a land development plan for New Pig to build a new and larger building at the industrial park.
Ralph J. Albarano & Sons Inc. of Duncansville have been contracted to complete the work. This is the same contractor who completed a number of building projects in the area, including numerous buildings in the industrial park and the Blair County Ballpark.
Plans call for a building more than twice the size of the previous building. Diminick said it will be about 122,500-square-feet. That’s a full 62,500-square-feet larger than the one that burnt in October.
The fire broke out in Building Two at the containment absorbent manufacturing site at approximately 10 p.m. on Oct. 31. When the smoke cleared early the next morning, the entire contents of the building – which included the company’s entire inventory, customer service area, sales area, technical service area, distribution, building and grounds and cafeteria – was amongst a pile of mangled metal and smoldering debris.
During the last week of December, Blair County Judge Daniel Milliron dictated an order which allowed several companies, all who New Pig claim could be held liable for the fire, to examine and photograph the site. These companies wanted to ensure the area was prepared correctly for when inspectors arrived to try and determine what caused the multi-million dollar fire.
The court arguments began when Phillips Electronics North America Corp. asked Milliron for an injunction, barring New Pig from initiating demolition exercises at the site. The demolition was scheduled for Dec. 23 but was halted until New Pig and Phillips could provide the court with proposed work schedules so the company would not lose revenue in the time in between.
Phillips claimed that if demolition would have begun that day, there would have been no way the company could gather their own investigators and get them to the site in time. Phillips wanted representatives there to document the demolition and come to their own conclusions concerning the origin of the fire.
New Pig has claimed that a light, produced by Phillips, may have exploded and caused the blaze.
Last week, New Pig’s insurance company’s attorney Maureen Zemel of Pittsburgh, said a cause for the blaze has not yet been established.
“We don’t have any information because there won’t be a determination of what caused the fire until they take the materials from the scene and look at them in the laboratory,” she said.
She also said the investigation is “an extensive process” and that it’s “going to take some time.”