A newly formed company focused on sustainable scrap metal recycling and steel production, Highbar LLC, has announced its plans to build the first of its two rebar steel mini mills in northeast Arkansas. The mills are designed to be world leaders in terms of energy and water efficiency, labor productivity and carbon emission reductions.
“My team and I have had great success investing billions of dollars in northeast Arkansas over the past eight years. I am pleased that after conducting a multi-state site search that we are able to make this announcement today,” said Dave Stickler, chief executive officer of Highbar and senior managing partner of Global Principal Partners, a leading metals and mining investment and project development firm. “Arkansas is a great place to conduct business, especially steel business.”
The Highbar mill in northeast Arkansas will sit on over 600 acres of property just outside of Osceola. The project will include space for an expanded Mississippi River port facility, a direct Class 1 railroad connection and a planned adjacent solar installation. The groundbreaking is scheduled to take place in the second quarter of 2023 once final permits are in place and equipment deliveries begin.
Highbar plans to invest approximately $500 million and create 200 direct and indirect jobs, with the direct jobs paying $140,000 a year on average plus benefits and the indirect jobs paying $60,000 a year on average plus benefits. During the planned 22-month construction period, peak construction employment is expected to exceed 600 jobs.
Reflecting the mill’s location in the center of the United States and its proximity to three robust transportation modes (truck, rail and barge), Highbar has already achieved significant market acceptance with over 20% of its output pre-sold under long-term agreements. On the raw material input side, it is expected the same three transportation modes will serve Highbar well.
“Arkansas continues the momentum to become a national leader in the steel industry,” Arkansas Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston said. “Companies like Highbar are looking for locations where they can find a qualified workforce and low business costs while being able to get products to customers quickly and efficiently. Arkansas checks all of the boxes, and companies are taking note. I am confident we will continue to see many such investments in the future.”
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