HWI announces South Point plant

Published 1:31 pm Monday, March 27, 2017

$30 million facility should be finished by next year

HarbisonWalker International announced today that it has selected The Point industrial park, in South Point, as the location of a new $30 million monolithic refractories development. HWI already operates a refractories site in nearby South Shore, Kentucky, but this factory will be focused on monolithic refractory products that can be molded or shaped for specialty usage.

Dr. Bill Dingus, executive director of the Lawrence Economic Development Corporation that runs the Point, said that one example might be enclosures for holding molten steel for continuous pour operations.

He continued, explaining that the Point was chosen for their access to intermodal rail, road, and river traffic, and praising the efforts of Jeremy Clay, the Point’s director, with brokering the deal.

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“We’re very excited to have such a quality company join the family at The Point industrial park,” Dingus said. “For this company, this will be the first new facility in many decades, therefore the selection process had to be extremely challenging. I believe they chose the Point for logistics reasons, including our access to river, rail, and four lane highway traffic with easy access to I-64.”

HWI supported this view.

“Unlike any other location, The Point offers unique transportation, logistics and business amenities that combine to create an ideal and cost-effective match for the requirements of our new facility. The intermodal transportation features at The Point will ensure efficient delivery of raw materials from nearby suppliers and finished products to customers. The site offers efficiencies that are simply not possible elsewhere,” Douglas Hall, senior vice president, Integrated Supply Chain, HWI, said in a news release.

Dingus said that he believed the team at The Point was instrumental in selling those features of the industrial park to HWI.

“Jeremy Clay is the one that sold this one,” Dingus said, after explaining that it “has been an ongoing process” with HWI that they weren’t free to discuss until after the announcement.

He also said the opportunities that the Point provides are being recognized by other industrial interests as well, and that he’s optimistic for continued growth there.

“HWI’s view of the Point and the logistics it provides is being discovered by other companies,” Dingus said. “We do see a bright future in Lawrence County as we move toward a new future in manufacturing.”

Groundbreaking on the project is expected to begin this summer, and the site is expected to be complete and in operation by next year. While HWI has announced that they plan to “employ highly-trained and highly-skilled technicians and staff in a team-based environment,” at the site, they haven’t yet determined the exact number of employees they will hire at the plant, or when hiring will begin. However according to a spokesperson for HWI, “it’s estimated at between 30 to 50 (employees)” and “HWI will provide more information as it becomes available.”

The HWI location is still contingent on the company completing “due diligence and finalization of one additional grant application that is in process,” according to their release.