CLINTON — The acquisition of Diamond Chain by the Timken Company will add nearly 130 jobs to the Timken Drives plant in Fulton, Illinois, said Andy Sokolovich, existing industry manager with Clinton Regional Development Corp.

“Timken acquired a company by the name of Diamond Chain ... [and] made the decision to move that operation to Fulton, which is a great thing for the greater Clinton region,” Sokolovich said Monday.

Timken Drives, in Fulton, is a major manufacturer of chain products, Sokolovich said. He estimates that the addition of the Diamond Chain operation to the Fulton plant will add about 130 jobs.

“The relocation will be completed over the next 24 to 36 months,” he said.

CRDC did not have prior knowledge of the acquisition, but learned about it, and about the move to Fulton, last week from the local Timken office and from the corporate office in Ohio, said Sokolovich. “We were excited to support it in any way we could.”

“Over the next two to three years you’ll start seeing, hopefully, people moving in,” said Sokolovich. The expansion will also create job opportunities for people who live in Clinton already.

The confidence of Timken in moving the operation to Fulton “proves the health of our local economy is strong,” Sokolovich said. The company is confident that it has access to a strong workforce in this area.

“We do draw workforce from the Quad-Cities area and as far west as Cedar Rapids,” said Sokolovich. Fuel sales and restaurant business will increase, and new employees may fuel home buying.

The Timken Company acquired Drives LLC in Fulton in 2011 for $92 million in cash, according to the company’s website. The company posted sales of approximately $100 million during the prior 12 months and employed 430 people in North America.

Timken had been steadily expanding its product offering and capabilities to provide value-added solutions for a diverse range of machinery applications, the company said at the time.

According to Indianapolis Star last week, Timken acquired Diamond Chain from Amsted Industries in April 2019. The 102-year-old Diamond Chain Company in downtown Indianapolis notified its 240 employees last week that the Indianapolis plant will close and relocate to Fulton.

Diamond Chain is a leading supplier of high-performance roller chains for industrial markets, serving a diverse range of sectors, including industrial distribution, material handling, food and beverage, agriculture, construction and other process industries, Timken said. For the 12 months ending March 31, 2019, Diamond Chain posted sales of over $60 million

Timken spokesperson Scott Schroeder said the facility in Fulton will be established as the global chain business headquarters over the next 24 to 36 months, the Star said.

According to the IndyStar, Timken’s lease is expiring in Indianapolis. Relocating to Fulton, where Timken owns a facility, allows the company to leverage its existing manufacturing footprint.

Qualified candidates from the Indianapolis plant may fill open positions at the Fulton facility, Timken said