Federal Metal Co. of Bedford, Ohio on Thursday announced plans for a $17.8 million scrap recycling facility in North Little Rock.
The company plans to transform the former Ben E. Keith Co. distribution center at 1200 Pike Avenue, creating about 40 jobs within four years. The facility will be capable of recycling more than 3,000 metric tons per month of aluminum copper radiators.
The 160,138-SF facility will be the company's first in Arkansas. It's expected to be operational in mid-2023, Federal Metal said in a news release. Hiring is already underway and specialized equipment is on order.
The site became available after Ben E. Keith Co. relocated to a new distribution center in North Little Rock in 2018. Trickling Creek Properties LLC, led by Scott Senyard, purchased the building in February 2022 for $3.25 million.
Federal Metal CEO Peter Nagusky said the company chose the site for its proximity to key customers and convenience for supplier partners.
"Major investments in new mill, foundry, and refining capacity are underway in the United States for the first time in generations, and it’s important the scrap industry here keeps pace to assure the domestic supply chain is well fed,” Nagusky said. "It is wasteful when valuable scrap like these radiators are exported [to support non-U.S. manufacturing]."
The expansion to Arkansas comes after Federal Metal acquired SA Alloys of Columbia, Pennsylvania last fall. The deal grew its workforce to more than 160 and increased its number of furnaces to 11.
Nagusky said the investments were made "with conviction in the future growth and competitiveness of U.S. non-ferrous metals manufacturing."
“Manufacturers of aluminum fin stock, foil, and can sheet, and the manufacturers of copper tube, wire rod, bus bar, and other shapes all have exacting specifications," he said. "This facility (in North Little Rock) will help us supply one-of-a-kind solutions to our customers, and in greater volumes, without the chemistry variation often associated with scrap."
The project qualified for the following state incentives: Advantage Arkansas, which provides state income tax credit for job creation based on the number of new employees hired as a result of the project, and Tax Back, which provides sales tax refunds on building materials, taxable machinery, and equipment associated with the project.