Sweden-based steelmaker SSAB will invest up to $100 million at its plant in Axis, AL, north of Mobile. The expansion will take place between 2019 and 2020 and could create up to 50 jobs. SSAB currently employs about 600 people at the Axis mill.
“This announcement demonstrates SSAB’s commitment to our Alabama operations and to our valued customer base in North America, as well as those customers we serve globally,” said President of SSAB Americas Chuck Schmitt. “With this planned investment, we not only increase our production but improve our quality and efficiency performance as well.”
The expansion will increase the company’s production capacity for high-strength steel, while increasing operational efficiency and reducing raw material costs. Plans include the installation of an accelerated cooling system to reduce the need for alloys in steel production. The planned investments are targeted to a number of areas, including the rolling mill, formatting, blasting and painting, as well as overall shipping capacity.
Last year, SSAB Americas announced it would relocate the division’s head office from suburban Chicago to Mobile, bringing 60 jobs to Alabama. Mobile was selected over sites in four other cities for the company’s headquarters operation. The headquarters relocation was supported by $750,000 cash incentives from the city and county, plus 10-year tax abatements and state incentives including a $1 million cash allocation and a state jobs credit valued at more than $2 million. The state expects those incentives to be offset by $9.6 million in new state revenue over the next 20 years, and by the impact of the headquarters payroll of about $152 million over the same time frame.
“We have a long history of successful investment in Alabama, all with great cooperation and partnership with state, county and local agencies,” said Schmitt. “It’s a track record of success, and we aim to continue the partnership. With these new investments, we have a unique opportunity now to work with local and state level officials to build upon our success even further.”
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