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Lubricant maker buys vacant Vicksburg facility

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Lubricant maker CAM2 International has bought the former Shell facility in Vicksburg and plans to restart operations in coming months, hiring about 35 employees.

The company says it will blend and package motor oil and other lubricants at the facility at the Port of Vicksburg.

CAM2, which has been based in Evergreen, Colorado, says it will move its corporate headquarters to Vicksburg as well.

"After careful consideration, our team concluded that the city of Vicksburg and its port facilities were a perfect fit for a growing CAM2, providing us with low cost freight access to the nearby sources of many of our raw materials along with the availability of this outstanding and existing facility," company President Walter Tyson said in a statement.

CAM2 CEO Jack Baker and a group of investors including Tyson recently bought the company from Omega Holdings Co, LLC.

Brad Berner, a lawyer for the company, said the company completed the purchase last week. He declined to say how much CAM2 paid or how much it will invest to restart the facility.

Berner said crews are currently testing and examining the facility, which has been vacant since the unit of Royal Dutch Shell PLC closed it in 2009, laying off 24 employees. Berner said operations could begin in June, and that CAM2 hopes to have as many as 60 workers within two years.

CAM2 also has a blending facility in Hammond, Indiana. It was contracting with Smitty's Supply of Roseland, Louisiana, to package its products, but Berner said that work will now be done in Vicksburg. Berner and CAM2 CEO Jack Baker are both directors of Smitty's, and Berner works there. But Berner said CAM2 is a separate venture.

Wayne Mansfield, executive director of the Warren County Port Commission, said that local and state governments have not aided in the purchase.

"That was a private transaction that we were not involved in," he said.

Mansfield said the company may seek property tax breaks at a later date.

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