Zekelman Industries said Tuesday that it's completed exterior work on a new $150 million, 515,000-SF mill in Blytheville for its Atlas Tube division.
The mill is scheduled to begin operating in September.
The company first announced the project in July 2019, saying it would hire about 75 people, doubling its workforce there.
"Installation continues for the world's largest continuous [electric resistance welding tube] mill. Equipment is arriving daily and we are still on schedule for September 2021 startup," said John Chatterton, vice president of engineering and technology, in a news release. "Foundation work is scheduled to finish in mid-May, and that's when we can start installing some of the exciting technology that will help power the mill."
The facility will feature new welding technology designed to handle 1-inch-thick sections and quick change technology that will give the mill short cycle times. Its line will feed into a fully automated warehouse, cutting down delivery times and boosting efficiency, the company said.
Zekelman said builders are looking for bigger sizes of steel and currently rely on shipments from overseas. The new larger sizes will be ideal for bridges, warehouses, stadiums and highways signage.
All sizes from the new mill will be available for order with two- to four-week lead times as well as from floor stock at service center partners across North America, the company said.