Big River Steel commissions melt shop, hot mill

Big River Steel (BRS) has begun operating its melt shop and hot mill, the third and fourth areas of the steelmaking complex in Osceola, Arkansas, to be commissioned. The company had earlier commissioned the complex’s batch anneal facility and temper mill.

The first hot-rolled coil produced was purchased by Zekelman Industries and will be sent to Atlas Tube, one of its structural tube mills, in Blytheville, Arkansas. Zekelman bought the coil for $100,000, with BRS and Zekelman contributing the amount to Wounded Warrior Project and to Arkansas Northeastern College.

BRS’ mill will recycle 2 million tons of scrap metal annually to produce 1.6 million tons of finished steel products. BRS says its flex mill is the first in North America to connect an electric arc furnace (EAF) to a Ruhrstahl Heraeus degasser and will be the only EAF mill in the United States to produce hot-rolled steel as thick as 1 inch and as wide as 78 inches.

Based on the technology being employed and the design of the facility, BRS says it will produce steel grades previously only available via integrated mills.

BRS CEO Dave Stickler says, “The Northeast Arkansas community, home to both Big River and one of Zekelman’s most advanced facilities, has embraced our arrival with open arms.

“In terms of joining with Zekelman Industries in supporting Wounded Warrior Project and Arkansas Northeastern College,” he continues, “we are honored to be able to do this so early in the life of our company.”

Stickler says, “Having spent over $1 million on training services provided by Arkansas Northeastern College over the past 18 months, we have an extremely strong relationship with the college and we look forward to expanding this relationship in the coming years as we grow and expand Big River.”

Barry Zekelman, CEO and chairman of Zekelman Industries, says, “Big River’s willingness to join us in making these charitable contributions is much appreciated, and we join others that operate industrial facilities in Northeast Arkansas in welcoming Big River to the community.”

EMR Eastern to make major investment in New Jersey

EMR Eastern LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of EMR (USA Holdings) Inc., Bellmawr, New Jersey, has submitted a request to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) for financial assistance to undertake a significant expansion project in Camden, New Jersey.

The Grow New Jersey Assistance Program (Grow NJ), which is available to businesses creating or retaining jobs in New Jersey and making a qualified capital investment at a qualified business facility in a qualified incentive area, will provide project support.

According to a report by the NJEDA, EMR Eastern LLC is looking to erect two new buildings and to occupy 10 existing buildings in Camden, for a total of 715,000 square feet.

The company initially had considered constructing seven new buildings and taking over seven existing buildings, including a waste-to-energy (WTE) facility.

The NJEDA says EMR Eastern LLC’s recent submission excluded the WTE facility, which was estimated to cost $166 million and take up about 103,000 square feet.

The decision to scale back the expansion plan has resulted in a 41 percent reduction in capital investment from $253 million to $147 million. Because of the reduction, and because this is a Camden Alternative project with an award set by the amount of capital investment, there was a corresponding reduction in the Grow NJ award from $253 million to $149 million. However, the number of originally projected new jobs (285) or retained jobs (62), totaling 347, have not been reduced.

Following the decision to rescind the WTE plant, EMR says it plans to expand its remaining qualified business facility, which will provide the jobs that would have gone to operating the WTE. The location will serve as an auto recovery staging area.


Secondly, EMR will build a 267,000-square-foot facility that will serve as the headquarters of its U.S. operations and provide additional warehouse space, as opposed to the 25,000-square-foot building that was originally proposed.

Third, because EMR has experienced organic growth in its scrap handling business since approval of the Grow NJ project, the company is seeking approval to add 42,400 square feet of additional leased industrial warehouse space. This space will be used to continue EMR’s metals recovery activities performed on the main campus. The company estimates that 25 new jobs and $3 million of capital investment are planned for the expanded site.

Atlas Metal and Iron acquires two locations

Denver-based Atlas Metal and Iron Corp., a full-service scrap metal recycling facility with a state-of-the-art wire chopping line, has acquired two Wise Recycling operations in Aurora and Colorado Springs, Colorado. The acquisitions were completed Dec. 15, 2016.

Mike Rosen, president and CEO of Atlas Metal, says the purchase of the two facilities strengthens the company’s retail business in the Colorado area.

Both facilities will be operated as satellite facilities of Atlas’ primary location in Denver.

The purchases also will “allow us to service more of the domestic market,” according to Rosen.

With the purchase of the Wise Recycling assets, the company also will add one dozen employees from these locations. “They have tremendous personnel,” Rosen says of the Wise operations purchased.

Atlas Metal and Iron is a full-service ferrous and nonferrous scrap operation. Atlas also sells new bronze, copper, aluminum and specialty alloy products through its Atlas Metal Sales Division.