Steel plant coming to Lawrence County

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 3, 2008

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP — Western Lawrence’s County’s industrial corridor is about to see new development.

Chatham Steel Corporation, of Savannah, Ga., announced Friday it has purchased approximately 12 acres of land in the western end of Lawrence County for its next service center location.

The new facility will be built along County Road 1 near the Rumpke recycling and Duke Energy facilities. Company officials said they plan to begin soliciting construction bids in the near future and anticipate of an opening in the first half of 2009.

Email newsletter signup

Chatham’s President, Bert Tenenbaum, said, “We are excited about this new location planned for Chatham Steel. This facility will allow us to better serve our current

customers in the Huntington and Charleston, W. Va., markets, plus it allows us to serve new customers in Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton, Ohio as well as Lexington,


The new location’s product line will include carbon steel structurals such as wide-flange beams, channels and tubing, as well as carbon, alloy and heat-treated plate. Stainless steel products include plate, sheet and long products. Company officials have not disclosed the size of its investment in Ironton.

The land purchase was welcome news to area officials who see Chatham’s development as a bright spot on the area’s commercial horizon.

“This is great,” Hamilton Township Trustee Bob Blankenship said. “I think is good news for our economy, good news for our tax base.” Blankenship said he hopes the company will take advantage of Lawrence County’s quality work force by hiring local people.

Lawrence County Commissioner Tanner Heaberlin said this is one more example of how things are changing for the better.

“It’s great news,” he said. “With Merciers coming in and now this, I think we’re headed in the right direction,” Heaberlin said. He pointed out that while none of the recent developments are huge plants offering thousands of jobs, the steady stream of small businesses locating here has a big collective impact on the local economy.

Dr. Bill Dingus, executive director of the Lawrence Economic Development Corporation, said Chatham may well be one in a series of economic boosts for the county.

“We have another couple of industries looking at Lawrence County, largely because of our rail and transportation,” Dingus said. “Lawrence County has a very bright future.”

Chatham’s vice president of administration, Bob Spell, said company officials have developed a good working relationship with area officials.

“This project has truly been a team effort. We have been working with both West Virginia and Ohio to find a suitable site - first with The Huntington Area’s Development Council’s Jerry McDonald and Paul Riedel, and then with Dr. Bill Dingus and his team at the Lawrence Economic Development Corporation,” Spell said. “The Ohio Department of Development’s Matthew McQuade did a very good job of promoting the state as well. We are looking forward to becoming a part of this community.”

Chatham now has five locations.

In addition to Savannah, the company owns facilities in Durham, N.C.; Columbia, S.C.; Orlando, Fla., and Birmingham, Ala.

Chatham is a subsidiary of Reliance Steel and Aluminum Co. Founded in 1915, it provides metal products and processing to more than 3,000 customers throughout the Southeast portion of the United States.