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A sign of steel.

Steel Processing Company To Shut Down Memphis Plant And Move Operations To Hickman

It's a move that makes sense to the management of Huntco Steel Inc.

By shutting down a facility in Memphis, Tenn., and opening a new plant at Hickman in Mississippi County, the company will take advantage of the nearby Nucor Steel Inc. plant.

"There would be no reason to run two plants in such close proximity to each other," says Terry Heinz, 40, president of the Springfield, Mo.-based company.

The plants would be 70 miles apart, Heinz explains. He says Huntco's lease on the Memphis property is to expire soon, another factor in the decision to move to Hickman.

The new plant is now in the preliminary stages but is expected to cover 80,000 SF when it is completed later this year. It will be within 200 yards of the Nucor steel plant.

The Nucor plant is tentatively set to begin operation July 4.

Huntco has seven plants in operation across the South and the Midwest, including the Memphis facility.

A processor and distributor of carbon steel flat-rolled products, Huntco expects to employ 40 people at the Hickman operation. The majority of the workforce should come from Memphis, "assuming the biggest part of them will transfer there," Heinz says.

Lots Of Land

The Arkansas plant will cost about $7 million. It will house steel-processing equipment as well as four 30-ton overhead cranes.

About 250,000 SF outside the plant will be used to store steel, Heinz says. He adds that the company expects to use only about one-fourth of the 75 acres it purchased at the onset.

"There are all kinds of things that you can do to steel ... that we might add on as the profits allow," Heinz says.

Being so close to the Nucor plant was necessary because of the expense of transporting steel. Much of the steel coming out of the plant is recycled, brought in via barges off the Mississippi River.

The Hickman plant is designed to process hot-rolled steel coils into a wide variety of products according to customer specifications. It will be a bit larger than the Memphis facility, Heinz says.

"We'll have a broader range of processing equipment so that the services will be more in-depth than what we did in Memphis," he says.
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Title Annotation:Huntco Steel Inc. to shut down Memphis plant and move operations to Hickman
Author:Taylor, Tim
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:May 11, 1992
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