HarbisonWalker International Invests in Creating a U.S. Refractories Manufacturing Hub for Steel Industry Customers
Major investments will increase refractory production capacity and efficiency to supply steel producers
PITTSBURGH, PA — September 30, 2021 — In response to increased U.S. steel industry customer demand, HarbisonWalker International (HWI), the largest supplier of refractory products and services in North America, today announced that it is making an investment to substantially increase production of its industry-leading steelmaking products. HWI will build a manufacturing and service hub for steel customers in the United States. HWI is now assessing strategic site options, and construction is slated to begin immediately once the location is determined. The new facility is expected to open as early as the third quarter of 2022.
“We are proud to be a U.S.-based supplier to the steel industry that invests in production capacity, technology, and services commensurate with our customers’ recently announced investments. The new facility, combined with our high-performing ferrous product operations in Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Georgia, and Ontario, will allow us to ramp up capacity dramatically. As steelmaking capacity increases, we are committed to ensuring that all our customers’ operations – including operations growing in the southern U.S. – will receive the highest quality and value of refractory products and services,” said Carol Jackson, Chairman, and CEO, HarbisonWalker International.
The new technologically advanced plant will support both HWI’s and steelmakers’ sustainability goals by producing proven, world-class refractories expressly designed for use in low-emission electric arc furnaces (EAFs). It will produce magnesia-carbon brick for servicing steel ladles, using core raw materials that can be sized accordingly for a full range of steelmaking refractory needs. HWI is the leading producer in the U.S. of refractory bricks for steel ladles.
Initially, production will add to HWI’s capacity in 2022, and that capacity may further increase by 2023. The plant will employ highly trained technicians and staff in a team-based environment. It will feature a high degree of robotics automation and technology and utilize lean techniques throughout its operations to maximize material flow efficiency and production. HWI has designed all processes in support of its Environmental, Social, and Governance Sustainability (ESG) efforts, as identified by the company’s employee-led Sustainability Team.
HWI has historically mirrored its steel customers’ investments to boost production capabilities and upgrade facilities. Since 2018, the company has completed numerous capital investments at its facilities in Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Georgia, and Ontario to further optimize production and capacity, product quality, and delivery efficiencies for bricks, monolithics, and cast shapes used by steel customers. Also, in 2018, HWI built and opened a new, state-of-the-art plant in South Point, Ohio, to produce monolithic products used by steelmakers. It is North America’s most technologically advanced refractories plant and one of the top facilities globally.
“Our investments have always been focused on delivering value for our customers. Our plans for a new U.S. facility reflect our continued commitment to anticipate and deliver for steelmakers in innovative, efficient, and responsible ways to support their success. And when our customers win, we reinforce our reputation as a strong, sustainable company with a bright future that is leading industry advancements,” said Jackson.
About HarbisonWalker International
With more than 150 years of industry leadership and global recognition, HarbisonWalker International is the largest supplier of refractory products and services in the United States. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the company’s international network spans North America, Europe, and Asia, with 18 manufacturing plants, 20 global sourcing centers, and the largest refractory industry research facility in North America. Serving virtually every major industry that requires refractory solutions to enhance production and protect assets, HWI is consistently recognized for its talented experts, industry firsts, and intensely driven excellence.