PRCO America Inc. began production at its refractories manufacturing plant in Mayfield, Ky., in August 2022. At full production, the plant – the company’s first in the United States – will produce 50,000-60,000 tons of resin-bonded refractory products for the steelmaking industry annually and employ approximately 50 people. The facility will produce resin-bonded magnesia carbon, resin-bonded magnesia-alumina-carbon and resin-bonded alumina refractory ceramic shapes used to line steel-processing furnaces.  

The plant will use a new source of magnesia as the main raw material. This new magnesia is higher purity with zero detectable boron and zero detectable chlorine, which results in superior physical properties of the refractory. According to PRCO America, this gives the company a 20-25% reduction in the wear per heat for longer service, more residual refractory thickness at the end of the campaign and cleaner steel quality for its customers.

PRCO America selected Mayfield as the site of the plant due to the immediate proximity to both the Mississippi and Ohio rivers and the access to steel customers based in Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Nebraska and Texas. In 2023, the MgO recycling center will begin taking back the refractory after it is used by steelmakers to be recycled into value-added products. Pittsburgh, Pa.-based PRCO America is owned by China’s Puyang Refractories Group, an independent, publicly traded producer of refractories.