FARRELL, Pa. (WKBN) – Steel producer NLMK is making an $80 million investment into its Farrell plant.
The largest upgrade will be a re-heating furnace that allows for easier manipulation of steel and streamline the production process.
“I think you’re going to see an increase in the amount of production, because again pricing is going to be more competitive. I think you’ll see an increase in the product they produce and you’ll see more product leaving the plant,” said Randy Seitz, CEO Penn Northwest Development Corporation.
Aside from the $80 million investment, NLMK is also receiving a $1 million grant from the state to improve railway infrastructure.
Seitz said along with the rail system, the local highway system will play a large role in the company’s future success.
“A global Russian company can operate in Mercer County, Pennsylvania because of our transportation, because of Interstate 80. It’s easy to get product in and out of the area,” Seitz said.
For the city of Farrell, the project means more income tax. City Manager Michael Ceci said more production means NLMK will need to add more shifts and more full-time employees. The investment is a strong commitment to the manufacturing base in Mercer County.
“It’s nice the confidence they have in the community and the product they’re selling that they are going to invest $80 million and put another100 people to work,” Ceci said. “It means you are here hopefully for the long-term and not just for the quick buck a year or two later.”
Seitz thinks that the project will encourage other companies to follow in NLMK’s footsteps and invest in the area.
“I expect to see an increase in the number of leads that come across our desk,” Seitz said.
NLMK is expecting to have the walking beam and new railway operational by September 2018.