Two Steel Processing Companies to Locate in Columbus, Miss.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Sally Williams, Public Relations Bureau Manager 601.359.3449
sawilliams@mississippi.org
   
Columbus, Miss. (August 4, 2010) – Governor Haley Barbour, officials from Mississippi Steel Processing and New Process Steel and state and local leaders gathered today for a joint groundbreaking ceremony for the companies’ new steel processing facilities, which will be located at the Severstal site in the Golden Triangle Industrial Park in Columbus, Miss. Both companies will process steel for Severstal, in addition to other steel companies.

Mississippi Steel Processing is investing $15 million in its new Columbus facility, and New Process Steel’s new facility represents a $10 million company investment; the two companies will create 55 and 30 new jobs, respectively.

“I am delighted to welcome both Mississippi Steel Processing and New Process Steel to Mississippi,” Governor Haley Barbour said. “Utilizing steel produced by Severstal, these two companies will create high-quality jobs for Mississippians and add value to the steel products already produced in the state.”

A start-up company based in Columbus, Mississippi Steel Processing is a toll processor for hot rolled sheet steel that will provide leveling, slitting, storage and logistics services. The company will also fabricate light flat rolled steel products.

New Process Steel is a light-gauge cold rolled and coated steel processor. The company is headquartered in Houston, Texas, and operates five manufacturing operations in the United States and one in Mexico.

“Mississippi Steel Processing located on this campus to create a dynamic steel processing and manufacturing environment. When you have a world-class steel mill and combine it with a world-class processing plant, the end product will be impressive,” said Chip Gerber, president of Mississippi Steel Processing. “In addition, the tremendous support and cooperation we received from Governor Barbour, the Mississippi Development Authority, Lowndes County and the Columbus Lowndes Development LINK made our efforts to partner with Severstal not only achievable but a relatively smooth and enjoyable process.”

Bob Proch, president of New Process Steel, said, “We are proud to be part of this project, and we view this Severstal facility as one of the finest and most efficient makers of steel sheet products in North America. With the support of the local community, we think we can be a big part of the economic growth Lowndes County and the state of Mississippi are expecting.”

The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) provided funding for public infrastructure improvements to assist Mississippi Steel Processing and New Process Steel with the construction of their new facilities. Additionally, the Appalachian Regional Commission and Lowndes County provided funding to help facilitate these projects.

“The decision by officials at Mississippi Steel Processing and New Process Steel to locate steel processing facilities at the Severstal site in Columbus is further proof that Mississippi is continuing to build capacity in this important sector,” said Gray Swoope, MDA executive director. “When Severstal started production, we knew that it would create the opportunity for spin-off businesses, enhancing the benefit the state receives from its original investment.”

In addition to the jobs being created by Mississippi Steel Processing and New Process Steel, Severstal is expanding and adding 35 new jobs at its facility, bringing the total number of jobs created among the three companies to 120. Severstal’s expansion will enable the company to pursue new opportunities in the growing industrial markets in the southern United States and Mexico, and the project will allow the plant to double its crude steel capacity to 3.4 million tons. Severstal supplies steel products for the automotive, construction and distributor sectors, among others.

“From the very beginning, we recognized the strength of character and commitment of the local region and its people, and we always envisioned a facility that would eventually become more than just a steel plant to provide a multitude of services to our customers,” said James Hrusovsky, chief executive officer of Severstal Columbus. “Mississippi Steel Processing and New Process Teel put us well on the road toward achieving that vision.”

###

About Mississippi Development Authority
Mississippi Development Authority is the State of Mississippi’s lead economic and community development agency. Nearly 300 employees are engaged in providing services to businesses, communities and workers in the state. While the agency is best known for its efforts to recruit new businesses to Mississippi, the Authority provides services to promote tourism, help communities improve their quality of place, help existing employers identify and meet opportunities and challenges and help workers improve their skills – all with the goal of improving the quality of life and economic well-being of Mississippians. For more information, visit MDA’s website at www.mississippi.org.