Bautech USA to open plant here

OKEECHOBEE — Bautech USA plans to open a plant in the Okeechobee County Industrial Park.

At the Sept. 5 meeting of the Okeechobee County Commission, Sergio Prahl, Bautech CEO, explained the company uses a fully automatic process to make pre-cast concrete products.

“We are producers of high-value concrete products,” he explained.

Projects include vault and retaining walls, segmented retaining walls and erosion control systems.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
Bautech makes cast concrete bricks which are used for a variety of construction projects.

The manufacturing line will be an automated plant with capacity to produce large blocks (up to 8 feet by 13 feet by 4 feet) fed by a very modern production plant of Drymix and wet-mix concrete. These special blocks are used for construction projects by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and by counties in Florida.

One project example shared was the Nearshore Hardbottom Mitigation project in Broward County.

Molds can be exchanged to produce specialty products of different shapes, colors and sizes, he said.

“We can guarantee the quality of the product is the highest,” he said.

“We are going to invest $3 million to $4 million in the plant,” he told the county commissioners. The initial investment in equipment and machinery will be $2.3 million.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
Giant Bautech bricks can be used for a retaining wall to control erosion.

The state-of-the-art plant will include a batching plant, a production machine and a laboratory. It is a clean industry, with no air or water contamination, he explained.

“We don’t have any waste at all,” Mr. Prahl said.

Bautech USA requested the following sale terms:
• Purchase of building at fair market value of $288,400 with monthly payments for 48 months.
• Land lease at a rate of $21,274.29 annually with monthly payments of $1,772.86 for 10 years, with an annual increase of 2% per year for the first 10 years.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
The process is automated. About 20 employees will be hired and trained to run the machinery.

“We are excited that you are here,” said Commissioner Brad Goodbread. “We hope we can help each other.”

Commissioner David Hazellief noted there is a lot of need for sea walls and ocean mitigation projects. He said they should find plenty of business in Florida.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
Bautech USA plans to open an state of the art fully automated plant to produce cast concrete products in the Okeechobee County Industrial Park.

Mr. Prahl said initially they will hire about 20 people. These employees will be hired locally and trained by the company, he said. As the company receives more orders for their products, they will expand the operation and hire more people, he said. He said pay will be competitive to keep employees long-term, because the company will have an investment in their training.

The commissioners awarded the Request for Proposal for the sale of the county building at 2530 N.W. 16th Blvd. to Bautech USA and authorized the County Airport/Industrial Park manager to begin negotiating a land lease agreement. The commissioners also voted to authorize the commission chair to execute the lease and sales agreement as prepared by the county attorney and approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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