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Published April 10 2010

Trade Talk: Wahpeton business loses 7 employees

PrimeWood Inc., a millwork company in Wahpeton, N.D., recently consolidated its shifts, resulting in the loss of seven employees.

The change, which happened about a month ago, was made because of a continued down market, said General Manager Joe Beyer.

PrimeWood laid off 21 people in October 2008.

According to state Department of Commerce records, PrimeWood had 306 employees on Dec. 22, 2008. It at one time employed more than 600 people.

The plant manufactures veneer-raised panels for kitchen cabinets, specialty wrapped moulding, door and window jambs and other millwork. In 1998, it became a division of St. Cloud, Minn.-based Woodcraft Industries.

Moorhead Pizza Hut to close after 25 years

After 25 years in business, the Pizza Hut restaurant at 2902 U.S. Highway 10 East in Moorhead is closing.

Because of the nearby Pizza Hut restaurants, it was determined the location is no longer needed, said Chris Fuller, a company spokesman.

“Additionally, three years of increasing minimum wages made it more efficient to limit the restaurant count in the area,” he said.

Most employees were transferred to nearby Pizza Hut restaurants, Fuller said.

There is another Pizza Hut in Moorhead at 102 7th St. S., but it does not have a dine-in option. There is a dine-in facility at 1207 19th Ave. N. in Fargo.

Fuller would not say when the restaurant would close. Someone who answered the phone there said it is closing May 4.

ND mission to China inspires energy plant

A recent trade mission to China has a North Dakota company considering building a coal-to-liquid energy plant in the state.

American Lignite Energy LLC is studying the feasibility of building such a plant. The North Dakota Industrial Commission has committed $10 million to assist with an engineering and design study.

The proposed $3 billion to $4 billion plant would produce more than 30,000 barrels of gasoline from North Dakota lignite per day and generate about 150 megawatts of electricity.

Trade mission members toured the world’s only commercial-scale, coal-to-liquid energy plant near Ordos, Mongolia.

“If we build a plant like this in North Dakota, it would support up to 3,000 construction jobs and 700 permanent jobs,” said Shane Goettle, state commerce commissioner and trade member mission.

“We are very excited about this prospect,” Goettle said.

Perham company partners with Twins

Perham, Minn.-based KLN Family Brands has partnered with the Minnesota Twins.

Starting this season, KLN-produced Barrel O’ Fun potato chips and Juicy Twists licorice have been named official products of the Minnesota Twins.

KLN operates three separate businesses in Perham: Barrel O’ Fun snacks, Kenny’s Candy and Tuffy’s Pet Food.

KLN has experienced double-digit growth over the past decade and now employs nearly 1,000 people in Perham.


Readers can reach Business Editor Craig McEwen at (701) 241-5502 and business reporter Tracy Frank at (701) 241-5526