Steel News

HarbisonWalker Adds Refractories Capacity Through US$25M Investment

1/17/2022 - Refractories manufacturer HarbisonWalker International will reopen an Alabama facility, repurposing to make magnesia-carbon brick, the company has announced.

HarbisonWalker said in a statement Friday that it will invest US$25 million to restart the Fairfield, Ala., plant, a move meant to keep pace with its steel customers' production investments. The plant, which had made baked carbon brick, was closed in 2019. The 200,000-square-foot facility is expected to open before the end of this year.

“We are pleased to become a part of the Fairfield – Birmingham business community in Jefferson County again and bring jobs to the region. The location is ideal for delivering quality refractory products and high-value services to our customers’ growing steel operations in the southern U.S.,” said HarbisonWalker chairman and chief executive Carol Jackson.

The company said the plant, dubbed AL1, will produce magnesia-carbon brick refractories specifically for steelmaking applications such as ladles and electric arc furnaces. When started, the plant will add 15,000 metric tons of annual capacity, but HarbisonWalker said that could grow to 30,000 metric tons as additional equipment is added in the following year.

“AL1 will become one of our most technologically advanced and modernized facilities and contribute to our environmental and sustainability goals through energy-efficient operations. It will feature a high degree of robotics automation and technology and utilize lean techniques throughout its processes. We are committed to environmental sustainability and working toward carbon-neutral operations,” HarbisonWalker said.