Toll Processors

Material Works Cancels Plans Near Big River Steel

Written by Sandy Williams

The Material Works, Ltd, (TMW) announced it has dropped plans to open a flat rolled toll processing center adjacent to Big River Steel in Arkansas.

The company will instead expand the capacity of its present facility in Red Bud, Illinois, adding a new Eco Pickled Service (EPS) processing and technology center to process advanced high strength steels.

TMW president Kevin Voges explained, “We made the business case for a new toll processing facility based on the attractiveness of the Big River Steel project. That attractiveness has not diminished one bit. What has changed is the surge in demand, among both our existing customers and potential new customers, for EPS technology, particularly for processing High Carbon, High Strength Low Alloy (HSLA) and Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) grades, plus silicon steel and stainless steel. EPS pickles these grades much more cost effectively than acid pickling and will do so along with conventional grades on our new EPS coil line.

“We evaluated adding EPS processing to the proposed new facility; however, we have existing infrastructure for EPS – both physical assets and our EPS Technology Team – here in Red Bud that make the economics of expanding ‘in place’ hard to beat. In addition, this new EPS center won’t be just a processing center; it will also be a technology development center, plus a training center for our customers who buy EPS lines.”

TMW says it will still be processing Big River Steel from customers who will ship steel sourced from BRS to the Red Bud facility by barge. “In many cases that low barge freight cost will offset some higher outbound trucking cost for a net freight savings,” says Eric Fritsche, TMW’s Vice President of Processing.

TMW’s Red Bud expansion plans also include a new ½” capacity Stretcher Leveler Cut-to-Length line to process both the CQ and some of the higher strength steel products run on the ½” capacity EPS line.

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