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SD tank business to service ND, WY, MT oil fields

BELLE FOURCHE (AP) — The Black Hills region of western South Dakota continues to attract new employers servicing the energy industries in North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.

The latest addition is a steel and fiberglass storage tank manufacturer that is coming to Belle Fourche and creating as many as 65 jobs in the community of 5,600 people

Texas-based Permian Tank & Manufacturing Inc. will anchor a recently developed industrial park that offers both major highway and rail access, the Rapid City Journal reported. The city is spending $4.5 million to add streets, water and sewer utilities to the industrial park, and electric and gas utilities also have committed to expanding service there.

Permian's expansion to Belle Fourche initially will include a steel tank manufacturing facility. The business plans to expand the facility to produce more products serving the oil and gas industry.

Company officials said they chose Belle Fourche because it is near the Bakken, Niobrara and Green River oil fields in surrounding states.

"Belle Fourche is developing a quality industrial park with rail service, along with other local incentives," said Dan Edling, the company's vice president of strategy and planning.

Edling said the company studied whether the Belle Fourche area could provide enough trained workers — a concern expressed by many industrial firms that have considered locating in South Dakota, which has a low unemployment rate and a shortage of skilled workers.

"We are confident that the region will be able to accommodate our employment needs," Edling said.

City officials are trying to take advantage of the city's location near the booming North Dakota oil fields to promote development.

"Permian Tank recognizes the value of the location of the new industrial park," Mayor Gary Hendrickson said.

A Black Hills connection also played a major role in the Permian decision, according to the governor's office. Terry Jacobson, who was raised in Lead, is a corporate attorney for the company.