Southland Steel Fabricators Inc. will expand to a second Louisiana site, creating new fabrication and coating lines with a $18 million capital investment at the former Bradken foundry in Amite, Tangipahoa Parish. The Greensburg-based company’s expansion will create 70 new direct jobs, and retain 176 existing jobs that are based at the company’s St. Helena Parish headquarters and manufacturing site.
“Southland Steel is extremely excited about expanding into Tangipahoa Parish, working with local government and becoming part of the Amite community,” said Southland Steel President/Owner Joey Lombardo. “This expansion will more than double our square feet under roof to over 650,000, and we will have 110 acres between the two locations. Our overhead crane-lifting capacity is now over 750 tons, with cranes ranging from 5 to 65 tons each. We look forward to utilizing this facility to expand our business, grow our customer base, and better serve our customers by vertically integrating our supply chain and strategically expanding our operations.”
Louisiana Economic Development (LED) estimates the project also will result in an estimated 111 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 180 new jobs in Tangipahoa Parish and surrounding areas.
“Since 1986, Southland Steel has built a homegrown business in St. Helena Parish into one of the fastest-growing steel fabricators in the nation,” said Gov. Bel Edwards. “Not only is Southland Steel growing, but it is now helping to revive the Amite foundry that succumbed to difficult challenges during the oil and gas downturn earlier in the decade. This is a company that has focused its fabrication on technology, training and quality control, and those efforts have produced an outstanding workforce for the future.”
LED began formal discussions with Southland Steel about the expansion project in September 2018. To secure the project, the State of Louisiana offered the company a competitive incentive package that includes the LED FastStart® workforce training program. The company also is expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
“LED, Tangipahoa Economic Development and our regional workforce partners have done an excellent job assisting Southland Steel in making this decision to expand into Tangipahoa,” said Executive Director Ginger Cangelosi of the Tangipahoa Economic Development Foundation. “These 70 new jobs will be a promising addition to our already growing workforce. We thank the Lombardo family for their commitment to Louisiana and Tangipahoa Parish.”
To fabricate precision structural components for customers, Southland Steel has invested heavily in state-of-the-art fabrication equipment, including the first robotic assembly-and-welding system in the U.S. at its 300,000-square-foot complex on 60 acres in Greensburg. The company offers a fabrication capacity in excess of 30,000 tons annually, with 3D modeling software, high-capacity cranes and professional engineering teams. Southland Steel also is the only U.S. steel fabricator certified to apply intumescent fireproofing, lightweight-cement fireproofing and cryogenic coatings in-house.
Louisiana-related projects for whom Southland Steel has fabricated thousands of tons of steel include: Louisiana Sugar Refining; Shintech; ExxonMobil; CF Industries; Sasol; Marathon; Formosa Plastics; SNF Flopam; Valero Refining; Occidental Chemical, or OxyChem; and Honeywell. In Amite, Southland Steel will invest in additional state-of-the-art equipment to expand its steel fabrication and coating services.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for Southland Steel and Tangipahoa Parish,” said Tangipahoa Parish President Robby Miller. “Southland has been an exceptional company servicing customers worldwide from St. Helena Parish, and now this Tangipahoa location will help expand their reach even further. This acquisition is particularly special because it will be putting this existing facility back into commerce.”
Southland Steel, which recently acquired the former Bradken foundry on U.S. Highway 51 in Amite, will begin operations there in late 2019 using existing staff. The company will add 40 new jobs in 2020 and expand to 70 new jobs by 2023. Initially, Southland Steel will be seeking new equipment operators, machine operators, painters and other skilled personnel.
“GNO Inc. is proud to work with legacy companies like Southland Steel to continue to expand in Tangipahoa Parish and throughout South Louisiana – creating new jobs and better opportunities for folks right here in our community,” said President and CEO Michael Hecht of Greater New Orleans Inc. “We must continue to grow Louisiana-made companies to create a regional economy that thrives for everyone. We commend Southland Steel for its commitment to bring more jobs to the region.”
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