Atlas Tube, a division of Zekelman Industries, has opened its newest steel mill in Blytheville, Ark. The new facility will be dedicated to producing Jumbo Hollow Structural Sections as large as 28-inch OD with walls up to 1-inch thick. The $150 million project is the largest private investment in the U.S. steel industry in the last decade, the company claims.
“Thanks to companies like Atlas Tube, Mississippi County continues to lead the country as a premier steel producer,” Governor Asa Hutchinson said.
Atlas Tube recently hosted a grand opening event to celebrate the new mill alongside members of the community. Attendees at the event were given an opportunity to tour the facility and hear from Barry Zekelman, executive chairman and CEO of Zekelman Industries; Mike Preston, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Commerce; and Clif Chitwood, president of the Great River Economic Development Foundation. The new mill is expected to create more than 75 new jobs in the community.
“It is a great day in Blytheville,” Secretary Preston said. “Two years ago, we were excited to announce that Atlas Tube would build the world’s largest continuous ERW tube mill in Blytheville. Today, we celebrate the fruition of our efforts as we celebrate the grand opening of the company’s newest mill.”
Previously, the largest HSS rolled in the U.S. were 16 inches by 16 inches by 5/8 inches, and builders looking for bigger sizes need to have them shipped from overseas, the company claimed. With Atlas Tube's new mill, all sizes will be available for order with 2- to 4-week lead times, the shortest in the industry, as well as from floor stock at service center partners across North America.
The new larger sizes will be ideal for applications like bridges, warehouses, stadiums and highways signage, taking advantage of the unbeatable efficiency and strength-to-weight ratios HSS can offer.
The new construction doubled the company’s capacity in Blytheville.