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Steel processor to build $12M facility employing 70

A Michigan-based steel processing company will build a 140,000-square-foot plant in Lowndes County.

Kenwal Steel Corp. will employ 70 at the $12 million plant, which will process steel produced by SeverCorr into products for specific customers.

The plant will be built on 25 acres in an industrial area set aside by SeverCorr.

“When we decided to build a next-generation steel mill, we also decided to create next-generation relationships with the downstream channel,” said Michael Wagner, chief commercial officer for SeverCorr. “So we selected a site with room for partners to build processing and distribution facilities. We are pleased to welcome Kenwal as one of our first neighbors.”

Kenwal, based in Dearborn, Mich., is a full-service steel processing company that provides a wide range of flat rolled steel products and services to various industries, including automotive, electronics, appliance, tubing, major equipment manufacturers and other steel related businesses.

The new facility in Columbus will feature state-of-the-art, surface-critical slitting and packaging systems with a broad range of coil-to-coil processing capabilities, according to company officials.

“They will be a very integral part of what we are doing here,” Wagner said of Kenwal. “They will be a pretty big user of our product.”

Kenwal has plants in the Midwest and Canada but none in the South.

Construction will begin in August and the facility should be completed by late next spring, the company said.

“We are already serving customers in the South, and SeverCorr’s announcement made this an opportunity that was just too good to miss. SeverCorr’s commitment to building a tightly integrated working relationship with their mill operations will provide a new level of service to our steel customers,” said Kenneth Eisenberg, Kenwal chairman and CEO.

The Kenwal plant will include light- and heavy-gauge steel slitters, rail and truck shipping docks supported by 44-ton cranes that can accommodate SeverCorr’s large-coil production capabilities and an automated packaging line.

The 1.2-million-square-foot, $880 million SeverCorr steel mini-mill is under construction on 1,400 acres just east of Golden Triangle Regional Airport. The related industrial property is on the northern portion of the site and will be served by a rail spur running through property.

SeverCorr hopes to be fully operational by the fall of 2007, employing as many as 450 people. It plans to manufacture 1.5 million tons a year of hot- and cold-rolled steel for the automotive, appliance, door, HVAC, metal building, pipe and tube and service center industries.