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First line at SeverCorr about to open

An official with SeverCorr says he expects the first equipment line at the new steel mill to be operational before the start of the new year.

The $880 million mill is being built on 1,400 acres east of Golden Triangle Regional Airport in Lowndes County. Workers there will turn scrap iron into as much as 1.5 million tons of steel a year. The rolled steel will have applications in the automotive, appliance, pipe and tube, building products, lawn and garden, and office furniture industries.

“In general we’re pleased with where we are. We still have a lot of work ahead of us,” Mike Wagner, chief commercial officer with SeverCorr, said last week.

Some 1,600 workers are involved in the construction process.

Officials expect the so-called pickle line, where steel will be cleaned and oiled, to start up before year’s end, Wagner said.

The company initially will purchase steel from other firms, then run it through the pickle line.

SeverCorr officials project they will complete the plant and have its “hot mill” operation, where they will make their own steel out of scrap, by the third quarter of 2007.