U.S. Silica moving corporate office to Frederick
U.S. Silica Company is in the midst of moving its corporate headquarters and much of the corporate office staff from Berkeley Springs to Frederick, Md.
The Frederick Department of Economic Development announced last Thursday that U.S. Silica’s corporate offices will move to a building on Progress Drive near Monocacy Boulevard, next to the Riverside Research Park.
The move to the Frederick area was expected in 2007, but, after a change of ownership at the time, the corporate office stayed in Berkeley Springs.
About 25 employees will be going to Frederick. They include the company’s top executives, those who report directly to them, and much of the sales and marketing department, said John Ulizio, U.S. Silica president and CEO.
About 20 members of the corporate team will remain in Berkeley Springs, including the accounting department and some information technology and human resources personnel. Also remaining in Morgan County will be the company’s laboratory, Ulizio said.
In addition to the corporate staff, U.S. Silica employs 73 people at the local sand mine and plant, which will continue operating as usual.
With the reduced corporate staff, the company is looking for a tenant for part of the corporate headquarters building on Sand Mine Road, north of Berkeley Springs, and intends to eventually sell the building, Ulizio said.
Major reasons for the change to Frederick are proximity to BWI Airport, better opportunities for staff recruitment and education, and the amenities of being in a larger town around other businesses, Ulizio said.
Frederick offers an ease of travel and accommodations for company officials and those visiting their offices, he said.
Company-wide, U.S. Silica has more than 650 employees and plants in 13 states, producing about six million tons of sand annually. The firm’s biggest operations are in Illinois, Oklahoma and Missouri.
Ulizio said the growth area for the U.S. Silica is now with sand being used in the fractures for natural gas and oil wells in Marcellus Shale.
This sand, which has a unique grain shape, is mined at the Ottawa, Illinois plant. The company has opened an office in Houston to deal with the oil and gas market.
The Berkeley Springs plant produces about 350,000 tons of sand per year, largely for glass manufacturing and other traditional markets, Ulizio said.
U.S. Silica is now owned by Golden Gate Capital, a San Francisco investment firm that purchased the mining operations for $337 million from Harbinger Capital Partners in November, 2008.