Sistersville Tank Works receives Korean certification

SISTERSVILLE – The Sistersville Tank Works has received the Korean Gas Safety Certification, only the second time the certification has been awarded to a U.S. company.

“It’s definitely an accomplisment,” Jason Morgan, assistant plant manager of the company.

Sisterville Tank Works is a custom vessel fabrication company in business for 115 years.

The certification allows the company to fabricate equipment intended for South Korea.

The company worked with the West Virginia Department of Commerce and Diego Gattesco and with Sen. Jay Rockefeller. Representatives from the Korean Gas Safety Department, testing, inspection and education organization under the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy in Korea, inspected the tank works for five days in November 2012.

“Sistersville Tank Works is a perfect example of a small West Virginia company that’s making a successful leap into the global economy. The company knew their pressure tank was a great product, so they worked hard to find a growing marketplace that would be receptive to it,” Rockefeller said. “It’s impressive the way they navigated the Korean certification process in order to obtain a Korean Gas Safety Certification, a step that unlocked the door to the Korean marketplace. With this kind of innovative thinking and commitment to success, Sistersville Tank Works certainly has a bright future. I can’t wait to see what’s next for them.”

In May, Don Rush and Teresa Taylor, representatives from the tank works, accompanied the Department of Commerce on a business trip to Seoul in South Korea and Taipei in Taiwan. Rush and Taylor attended Trade Winds ASIA 2013, which included meeting many potential customers as well as new connections with both American and Korean government agencies.

“The trip was exciting and showed us a great number of opportunities to expand into new markets. Throughout the years our dedication to producing top quality ASME vessels has never let us down,” Rush, the plant manager, said. “The ability to work closely with our friends and partners in the state departments has been critical to allowing us the opportunity of a lifetime here. I truly believe we will make our state and country proud in this new market. “

Janet Wells, the president of the company, purchased the Sistersville Tank Works in 1984. Wells, who has worked at the tank works since 1960, and her daughter, Darlene Morgan, ran the company.

The third generation of the family to run the company are Morgan and his brother, Zach.

“I believe that the sky is the limit,” Jason Morgan, said. “A very talented and driven team of professionals here at the Tank Works both in the office and our shop have allowed us the opportunities we have today.”

The Sistersville Tank Works was established in 1894, manufacturing boilers and pressure valves for the growing oil and gas industry. In 1923, the tank works was among the first fabricators in the nation to receive the American Society of Mechanical Engineers code approval for tanks and boilers when steam-powered riverboat construction expanded.

During World War II, the tank works made decks for LST landing crafts and casings for the Block Buster Bombs used to destroy German submarine installations. The company returned to domestic production after the war and was near closure in 1984 when Wells, a bookkeeper at the tank works, and Moore, who was a purchasing agent, purchased the company and assumed ownership on Oct. 15, 1984.

Orders increased as did the number of employees and Wells in 1988 was named the U.S. Small Business Person of the Year. The company’s customers includes chemical processors and manufacturers, oil refiners, power generators and pharmaceutical companies in the United States, France, England, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Canada and Japan.

“I look forward to working with our partners in the state department and our government to further the growth of our brand and further stand out in our industry,” Morgan said. “My brother Zach and I truly believe that our mother and grandmother have paved the way for the company to do great things in the future and we are just excited to be a part of history to be made.”