Atlas Tube Inc.

Atlas Tube Inc.

October 17, 2005 15:07 ET

Atlas Tube to build manufacturing facility in Blytheville

BLYTHEVILLE, ARKANSAS--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 17, 2005) -

New plant to employ 100 people

Atlas Tube Inc., the largest and most advanced manufacturer of hollow structural sections in the world, has announced plans to build a manufacturing facility in Blytheville.

The 450,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art plant will employ 100 people.

The company's total investment will be $55 million. Construction will begin immediately. Production will commence in the third quarter of 2006 and be fully operational by the end of 2006.

The facility will house two state-of-the-art tube mills capable of producing tubing from 2" to 12" 5/8 wall and rounds up to 16" diameter. The facility will also house a 72", 70,000-lb. 5/8 wall slitter.

"We're excited that Atlas Tube has chosen Arkansas as the location for its new manufacturing facility," said Gov. Mike Huckabee. "The technology that Atlas Tube uses is cutting-edge and sets a standard within the industry. We look forward to a long, prosperous relationship."

Atlas Tube's hollow structural sections have been used in construction of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, the Kennedy Space Center's Apollo Center and Las Vegas's Light Screen over Fremont Street.

Atlas Tube has recently acquired Maverick Tube's structural tubing business and Copperweld's structural tubing operations. Atlas will now have plants in Harrow, Ontario; Plymouth, Mich.; Chicago, Ill.; Winnipeg, Manitoba; and Blytheville. Atlas will have a combined annual capacity in excess of 1.5 million tons per year.

"We're very excited about being in Blytheville and building a world-class facility next to Nucor Steel. This location, combined with our other plants, strategically positions Atlas Tube to better serve the entire North American HSS market," said Barry Zekelman, CEO of Atlas Tubes, Inc. "Local and state authorities made it an easy decision to locate in Arkansas."

"The Quorum Court and the citizens of Mississippi County who supported our economic development efforts are full partners in this success," said Mississippi County Judge Steve McGuire. "Funds from our economic development tax were invested in this project, which will benefit every citizen in Mississippi County and improve our overall quality of life."

"This announcement will put us over 1,000 jobs created during the last three years," said Blytheville Mayor Barrett Harrison. "This was a group effort between the city, county, state and the Great River Economic Development Area. These four groups worked hard to make sure Atlas Tube had what they needed to locate in Mississippi County." Atlas utilizes "flexible manufacturing," a quick change technology allowing their manufacturing facilities to change sizes on all of their mills in under two hours. This creates the shortest cycle times in the industry.

"We're certainly pleased and proud to have such a respected company choose to locate in Mississippi County," said Clif Chitwood, director of the Great River Economic Development Area. "We know they will find our business atmosphere and quality workforce the perfect fit for success."

"I'm so proud of Mississippi County for their hard work in recruiting such a quality company," said Larry Walther, director of the Arkansas Department of Economic Development. "Atlas Tube recognizes that Arkansas' workforce has the skills needed to work in a progressive, technology-based environment. We look forward to a great relationship with Atlas Tube and the many benefits they bring to northeast Arkansas."

Additional information on Atlas Tube can be found at www.atlastube.com.

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