Washington Tire Plant in FAA Hands - Tire Review Magazine

Washington Tire Plant in FAA Hands

When we last heard anything – literally anything – from our friend Abraham Hengyucius and his Washington Tire Corp., he was hosting a couple of Ephrata, Wash., officials on a little boondoggle visit to China. They were to be meeting with those people/companies supposedly investing in WTC’s proposed tire plant in Washington state.

While that trip happened in April and still left the local officials scratching their heads, it must have done the trick. According to the July 15 edition of the Grant County Journal, the FAA is “just days away from potentially giving its approval for a land sale that could clear the way” for construction of the plant.

All that sentence needed was one more qualifier. But that lack of surety typifies the entire project.

Still, if the FAA signs off, Washington Tire Corp. (nee American Tire Corp. and Colorado Tire Corp.) will be able to buy 97 acres of land at the Port of Ephrata. Two Native American tribes, too, now apparently must also give their blessing.

The FAA has say-so on this project because the Port of Ephrata is an airport, and the land Washington Tire Corp. seeks is adjacent to the airport.

“The Washington Tire folks seem very anxious to get going on this project, and they’ve indicated that they have their financing in place,” Ephrata port manager Mike Wren told the newspaper. “We should know by the end of August where this is all going.”

Well, we’ve been wondering about that, too. As many times of this saga has shifted and switched, Mr. Wren might want to have a back-up plan.

According to the paper, the 97-acre parcel will be bought for $10,000 per acre. The plant will have 18 buildings and three million square feet under roof, with a total investment of $1 billion. In other words, it will be the largest and most expensive tire plant ever in the whole entire world.

And instead of just giant OTR tires – as stated in the original plan – the plant will now produce passenger, light and medium truck and OTR tires.

But, if the money is there and the FAA and tribal leaders sign off and all of the plans are approved by all of the various agencies and the contractors are hired and the work commences and presses forward and test tires are built and full production comes on-stream, then I guess we’ll all have to chip in on a “Welcome to the Tire Industry” greeting card.

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