In response to increased demand from the U.S. steel industry, HarbisonWalker International (HWI) – a supplier of refractory products – is making an investment to substantially increase production of its steelmaking products. HWI will build a manufacturing and service hub for steel customers in the United States. The Pittsburgh, Pa.-based company is assessing strategic site options, and construction is scheduled to begin immediately once the location is determined. The new facility is expected to open as early as the third quarter of 2022.
The Plibrico Company, a supplier of monolithic refractories and construction services, completed the acquisition of Redline Industries Inc. Chicago-based Redline Industries supplies low-cement refractory castables and gun mixes. Redline refractories are engineered to safeguard furnaces in the high-temperature processing of nonferrous metals, such as aluminum, as well as prevent furnace heat loss to promote greater energy efficiency. Plibrico will continue to manufacture Redline refractories to their current specifications and promote the Redline brand within Plibrico’s product portfolio.
Allied Mineral Products will provide refractory expertise on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s ENDURING project, which focuses on long-duration energy storage using heated particles. The process in development can collect excess electrical energy and convert it into thermal energy. With the help of refractories in a holding vessel, this thermal energy can be efficiently stored for days. When it is needed, the stored thermal energy will go through a heat exchange process and be converted back into electricity for use by commercial or residential customers.
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.
RHI Magnesita, a global supplier of high-grade refractory products and systems, acquired Missouri Refractories Co. Inc. (MORCO). Based in Pevely, Mo., MORCO produces over 400 high-quality monolithic mixes that serve a range of industries, including steel. The employees also have the expertise to provide refractory material for the petrochemical industry.
HarbisonWalker International (HWI) is investing to increase capacity by 25% at key steel refractory facilities. Most of the investment will be at its facility in White Cloud, Mich., which manufactures refractory products primarily for steelmakers. According to the company, approximately half of its capital investment dollars will have a direct positive impact on its steel industry customers. The investment will include expansion to accommodate new warehouse and shipping space, which is being constructed with American-made steel. Additional manufacturing space will house new technologies that improve production efficiency and worker safety.