Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced that PRCO America Inc., a manufacturer of specialty refractory brick for the steel industry, plans to open its first U.S. production facility next year in Graves County. The nearly $5.5 million investment is expected to create up to 32 full-time jobs. The facility will produce custom-sized resin-bonded magnesia graphite refractory brick, which steel mills use to line furnaces and transfer ladles. The company plans to install the latest hydraulic pressing and automation technology to ensure high productivity. The 35,000-square-foot facility could begin production by the end of 2020.

Founded in Pittsburgh in 2008, PRCO America imports a full line of refractories for iron and steelmaking. The Kentucky plant will give the company both U.S. production and increased flexibility for manufacturing and delivery timing. PRCO America is a division of China’s Puyang Refractories Group Co. The company’s customers include minimill and integrated steel producers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.