Zekelman Industries will build the world’s largest continuous ERW tube mill, on property adjacent to its existing Atlas Tube mill, in Blytheville, Arkansas.
The company provides structural support for buildings such as airports, stadiums, mega warehouses and large distribution centers, and they can be used for infrastructure applications such as bridges and oil & gas pipelines. The $150 million mill project represents the largest private investment in the U.S. steel industry in the last decade, enabling new domestic manufacturing capabilities.
“We greatly appreciate the support we’ve received from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission over the years,” said Tom Muth, president of Atlas Tube. “The AEDC has worked closely with us to ensure immense success for the Blytheville community, and we’re proud to be a part of it.”
According to company officials, The Blytheville mill will produce HSS and pipe piling to meet or exceed ASTM A500, ASTM A1085, CSA G40 and ASTM A252 standards.
The mill will be capable of producing sections as large as 28” OD x 1” wall. The company projects an additional 75 new employees will be hired to work in the mill, growing its Blytheville workforce to approximately 150 employees. Startup of the new mill is scheduled for September 2021.
“We’re very excited to continue investing in a community we’ve proudly called home,” said Barry Zekelman, Executive Chairman & CEO of Zekelman Industries. “Having two mills within close proximity of each other will only increase our organization’s efficiency. We look forward to starting construction of this groundbreaking facility.”
The state-of-the-art facility will be capable of producing hollow structural sections (HSS) in square, rectangular and round shapes and in sizes ranging from 8" square x 0.750" wall to 22" square x 1" wall. While Atlas Tube has supplied Jumbo HSS (up to 22" square x 0.875" wall) since 2012, the new mill allows the full range of these products to be made in the USA for the first time — and with a larger maximum wall thickness than previously available. The largest rectangular section produced here will be 30" x 14" x 1" wall, and the largest round section will be 28" OD x 1" wall.
“Arkansas has some of the most talented and dedicated steel workers in the country,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson. “Our quality workforce and low business costs make Arkansas stand out among other states as an attractive option for companies looking to expand.”
“It is a great testament to our state when companies like Atlas Tube expand their operations here rather than going elsewhere,” said Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston. “We have put a lot of effort into growing the steel industry in the state, and this is the latest company to realize that Arkansas has the tools in place to help businesses succeed.”
Zekelman Industries includes the operating divisions of Atlas Tube, Picoma, Sharon Tube, Wheatland Tube, Western Tube and Z Modular. It is the largest independent manufacturer of hollow structural sections (HSS) and steel pipe, and the top producer of electrical conduit and elbows, couplings and nipples in North America. The new Blytheville mill will be Atlas Tube’s sixth mill in North America and its fifth in the United States, all of which also produce HSS.