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Arkansas Business: Atlas Tube Opens $150 Million Steel Mill in Blytheville


Atlas Tube of Chicago on Wednesday announced the opening of its new electric resistance welding steel mill in Blytheville, a facility it says is the largest of its kind in the world.

The $150 million mill is the company's second in the city. It will be dedicated to producing hollow structural sections as large as 28 inches in outer diameter and 1 inch thick, the company said in a news release.

The 515,000-SF mill is expected to create more than 75 jobs and double Atlas Tube's workforce in Blytheville.

The project qualified for the following state incentives: the Tax Back program, which provides sales tax refunds on building materials, taxable machinery, and equipment, and the Create Rebate program, an annual cash rebate based on the number of jobs added by a company.

The project also qualified for $600,000 in community development block grants.

Atlas Tube is a division of Zekelman Industries of Chicago, which has been looking to meet demand for bigger sizes of steel that clients currently have to import from overseas. The new larger sizes will be ideal for bridges, warehouses, stadiums and highways signage. 

The mill is the latest to come online in Mississippi County, which is poised to become to nation's leading steel producer once U.S. Steel completes construction of a $3 billion mill in Osceola.

Growth in the industry has benefited other businesses, including steel services firm The Systems Group of El Dorado. The Systems Group announced Monday that it's expanding to meet increased demand.

"Thanks to companies like Atlas Tube," Gov. Asa Hutchinson said, "Mississippi County continues to lead the country as a premier steel producer."

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