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Charter Steel to Add SBQ Bar Mill Near Cleveland

January 31, 2017

Steelmaker will invest $150 million to expand available markets and enhance service offering with increased production flexibility

SAUKVILLE, Wis. – Charter Steel today announced plans to build a new Special Bar Quality (SBQ) bar mill adjacent to its existing coil mill and steelmaking operations in Cuyahoga Heights, Ohio. The highly automated rolling mill will utilize precision sizing to produce diameters from .750 to 3.250 inches (19 to 83mm) in bar lengths from 12 to 50 feet (3.7 to 15.3m). Company leaders said the project, which will not interrupt existing steel coil operations, will support Charter Steel’s desire to serve new markets, and will add production flexibility for the benefit of its existing and prospective new customers.

The new mill represents an investment of $150 million and is expected to be online in the second half of 2018, said John W. Mellowes, CEO of parent company Charter Manufacturing Company, Inc. The project will create about 25 jobs and represents the largest single investment in the family-owned company’s 81-year history.

“Growth and continuous improvement are in Charter’s DNA,” Mellowes said. “We see an opportunity here to grow by leveraging a very successful high-service model, coupled with advanced steelmaking, to serve both existing and prospective new customers with an engineered, cut-length bar.

“That said,” Mellowes continued, “we will be forever fastened to our loyal coiled-rod and coiled-bar customers. In fact, as part of this project, we will also be adding new coil finishing assets that will enhance our coil package, our surface quality and the flexibility to roll more sizes more often – coiled or straight.”

Charter Steel has produced SBQ coiled-rod and coiled-bar products in Cuyahoga Heights since 2002. Since 2006, the company has invested more than $250 million to bring new steelmaking assets and technology to the site that includes an electric arc furnace, ladle metallurgical refinement, deep vacuum tank degassing and an advanced billet caster producing a 7x7 inch (180x180mm) semi-finished product. Today, Charter Steel is producing highly engineered steels for sophisticated applications in the Aerospace, Bearing, Cold Heading, Free-Machining and High Quality Spring markets. A melt capacity increase from a series of recent investments and productivity gains from continuous improvement projects will provide the additional steel for the new bar mill.

“Once again, we have been able to rely on some exceptional partners here in Ohio,” said Robert J. Venable, president and COO of Charter Manufacturing Company. “Given the scope of this project, Charter Steel received substantial support and assistance from numerous state and local governments, agencies and development funding resources. We offer our sincere appreciation to the State of Ohio, Cuyahoga County, the Village of Cuyahoga Heights, the Cuyahoga Heights School District, the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center, the greater Cleveland Partnership and Team NEO for their outstanding collaboration. Without their help, this would not have been possible.”

Jack M. Bacci, mayor of the Village of Cuyahoga Heights, said the expansion would be an asset to the community and the state.

“This is simply incredible news for our region and a great example of how a collaborative effort from local, county and state governments is getting things done for the sustainability of our
workforces,” he said. “The climate for Ohio's businesses is right, from the smallest Villages to our biggest Cities. To that, I would like to say congratulations to the men and women of Charter Steel and their vendors. May they prosper long into the future!”

Construction of the new mill is expected to begin this spring.

Trade News Release (PDF)