The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

September 28, 2006

SGS cuts ribbon on renovated lab

Sophia facility now has state-of-the-art dust collection system

A streamlined and more efficient facility is the way officials with SGS Minerals Services described its recently renovated facility in Sophia.

“Since we purchased this facility in 1992, our business has grown six-fold,” said Dave Smercina, SGS senior vice president. “This left us with a facility that struggled to adequately meet the needs of our clients and provide a healthy and comfortable environment for our employees.”

Smercina said it was clear a change needed to be made.

“We felt our money would best be spent by investing in this facility,” he said.

SGS operates full-service laboratories in all the major mining, transportation and consumption areas globally, including its 30,000-square-foot Beckley testing facility

“SGS provides analytical services from the beginning to the end of a coal mine’s life cycle,” Smercina explained. “We provide services and data to help our clients make informed decisions regarding mining planning, preparation plant design, compliance with environmental regulations and to be able to meet contractual obligations.”

Construction work on the facility began in February, Smercina said.

“All the work was done using local contractors,” he said. “The project was completed on time and within budget.”

Smercina said the modernization and expansion project was predominately aimed at the company’s employees and clients.

“Our goal was to provide a cleaner and healthier workplace, improve the efficiency of the operation by rearranging and expanding the work areas, and to provide a foundation that will allow our business to grow for years to come,” he said.

The renovated facility now includes state-of-the-art dust collection and air ventilation systems.

“It will virtually remove 99 percent of the coal dust when it is crushed,” he said.

Christian Jilch, chief operating officer for SGS North America Inc., said the Beckley facility is unique and an important part of the SGS network, which is the world’s largest verification, testing and inspection company that includes 42,000 employees working in more than 140 countries.

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