A newly formed company, Hybar LLC, is building a technologically advanced, environmentally sustainable scrap metal recycling steel rebar mill project on a 1,300-acre site in northeast Arkansas.
“The Hybar project was a team effort involving state, regional and local government leadership, our management team, and many others to get to today’s announcement,” said Dave Stickler, Hybar’s chief executive officer. “I have been involved in several greenfield and expansion steel industry projects in Arkansas over the past eight years, and I know firsthand what a business-oriented, can-do state Arkansas is. Many thanks to Governor Sanders and her team.”
Hybar has committed to creating no less than 140 direct jobs and 60 independent direct jobs. In support of the project, $700 million of financing has been raised, including a $330 million issuance of 25-year bonds. The Arkansas Development Finance Authority acted as the conduit issuer of the bonds, the proceeds from which were loaned to Hybar.
“Congratulations to Hybar on today’s significant project milestone,” said Clint O’Neal, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC). “Companies like Hybar have made Arkansas a national leader in the steel production industry. We are thankful for the company’s commitment to creating 200 high-paying jobs in Mississippi County, and we look forward to celebrating the company’s success for years to come.”
“We are proud that Hybar has chosen to call Arkansas home,” said Secretary of Commerce Hugh McDonald. “Very soon, Mississippi County in northeast Arkansas will produce more steel than any other county in the nation. That only happens with strong partnerships at the state, local and private sector levels working together as a team. The business climate in Arkansas, led by Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, continues to reduce taxes and regulations and has placed workforce development solutions at the forefront of every economic development project. We thank Hybar for its decision and making a significant contribution to the state’s economic growth and look forward to a long partnership.”
Entergy Arkansas will supply electricity to Hybar under a special rate contract that includes renewable power generation. The Arkansas Teacher Retirement System is supporting the project by providing various forms of financing to Hybar.
“Entergy Arkansas is pleased to partner with Hybar and provide clean energy to the growing, sustainable steel industry in Northeast Arkansas,” said Laura Landreaux, president and CEO of Entergy Arkansas. “We appreciate the hard work of the Governor and her team, the City of Osceola, and the Arkansas Public Service Commission in helping make this project happen. I also want to thank Dave Stickler and his team for continuing to believe in and invest in our great state with advanced manufacturing and high paying jobs.”
Westrock Coffee HQ To Create 600 Jobs In Conway
In Conway, AR, Westrock Coffee Company is expanding its development, production, packaging, and distribution facility. The company plans to invest more than $300 million and create 600 new jobs in Central Arkansas over five years.
“We could not be more excited to headquarter our state-of-the-art extracts and ready-to-drink facility in Conway and Central Arkansas,” said Scott T. Ford, CEO and Co-founder of Westrock Coffee. “This decision represents our unwavering commitment to our employees, the community, and our customers. By expanding our jobs and packaging facility, we are strengthening our foundation for growth and reinforcing our dedication to delivering quality beverage solutions. We are grateful for the support of the Governor’s office, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, and the community of Conway for its continued support.”
In December 2021, Westrock Coffee announced the purchase of a 524,000-square-foot facility in Conway for the development, production, and distribution of its coffee, tea, and ready-to-drink (RTD) products. The company originally announced 250 new jobs, and given the overwhelming response from customers, that number has grown to 600 jobs. The location will use state-of-the-art equipment, including advanced robotics, specifically designed to efficiently manufacture and package a wide range of beverages such as canned or bottled cold brew coffees, lattes, assorted teas, and juice-based products as well as single serve coffee cups. The space will also incorporate an industry leading product development lab and FDA certified pilot plant, enabling Westrock to create, test, and produce new beverage solutions.
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“Today’s announcement further establishes Westrock Coffee as a worldwide leader and powerhouse within the food and beverage industry,” said Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “Westrock Coffee is another Arkansas-based success story, creating new, high paying jobs in Conway that will benefit this thriving community and the state as a whole for decades to come.”
“Healthy cities attract people and companies,” said Conway Mayor Bart Castleberry. “In 2022, Conway was Arkansas’s fastest growing city. Today’s announcement makes Conway one of the state’s fastest job creators. We look forward to growing together with Westrock Coffee.”
“Westrock will very soon be one of Conway’s largest employers,” said Conway Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Brad Lacy. “They are a global company who will immediately diversify our economy and create quality careers for the people of central Arkansas.”