Lawrence County Plant Represents the Future of U.S. Refractories
In June, HarbisonWalker International broke ground on a monolithic refractories manufacturing plant that will be one of the most technologically advanced in the United States. HarbisonWalker’s $30 million state-of-the-art facility will build a team of highly trained and skilled technicians and staff in the Lawrence County Village of South Point. Its 39 new employees will represent a total payroll of approximately $1.3 million after it opens early in 2018.
Monolithic refractories pose one of the strongest product growth categories for HarbisonWalker and the entire advanced manufacturing industry. HarbisonWalker expects the new plant to further elevate the quality and consistency of its products.
Initial capacity at the site will be approximately 80,000 metric tons per year. It will feature cutting-edge automation and technology and will maximize material flow efficiency and production throughout its operations. HarbisonWalker plans to introduce advanced packaging technologies that are new to North America.
While Wurtland, Kentucky, also made a serious bid for the plant, HarbisonWalker was attracted to the South Point location along the Ohio River. The site provides unique transportation, logistics and business conveniences that will allow HarbisonWalker to meet the requirements of the new facility in a cost-effective manner. The intermodal transportation features at the site will encourage long-term partnerships in the area by ensuring efficient delivery of raw materials from nearby suppliers and finished products to customers.
“Our new South Point Plant exemplifies the future of our company and in many ways, the future of the U.S. refractories industry,” Stephen Delo, HarbisonWalker’s senior advisor to the CEO, said. “We’re leveraging our 150 years of leadership and expertise to reinvent how we produce and deliver quality monolithic products. The new plant will have a positive impact on product consistency and quality, availability, ordering, packaging and support.”
Based in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, HarbisonWalker is the largest supplier of refractory products and services in the United States. Its customers include Bryant Refractory Company, J.T. Thorpe & Sons, LVR and K&G Industrial. HarbisonWalker International has created many of the refractory industry’s most significant technologies. Refractories are used to line furnaces for the production of steel and glass.