Federal Metal to process radiators in Arkansas


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Apr 24, 2023

Federal Metal to process radiators in Arkansas

Federal Metal Co., Bedford, Ohio, has announced it will invest approximately

Federal Metal Co., Bedford, Ohio, has announced it will invest approximately $17.8 million to construct and equip a facility in North Little Rock, Arkansas, to process postconsumer aluminum-copper radiators to create recycled-content metal products.

"Major investments in new mill, foundry and refining capacity are underway in the United States for the first time in generations, and it's important the scrap industry here keeps pace to assure the domestic supply chain is well fed," says Peter Nagusky, Federal Metal's president and CEO.

Nagusky calls it "wasteful" to export scrap radiators to "support non-United States manufacturing." Adds the CEO, "Companies producing semi-finished copper and aluminum will need to increase the recycled content of their products by using more scrap and less primary metal. The main reasons are clear: it is economically advantageous and environmentally sustainable."

Continues Nagusky, "Importantly, this strategic location is convenient for our supplier partners and close to several key customers. We are looking forward to a long partnership with the city of North Little Rock and the state of Arkansas. With their help, and the talent available to us within a mile of downtown Little Rock, this specialized operation will quickly emerge as the most advanced of its kind in the world."

Federal Metal, which describes itself as a producer of copper-based cast alloys since 1913, currently has one melt shop in Ohio, near Cleveland, and another in Pennsylvania (the former Colonial Metals facility). The company says the new Arkansas location, which will not include a melt shop, will result in the creation of 40 jobs "within four years."

"Arkansas is home to skilled workers, pro-business policies and world-class hospitality," says Arkansas Governor Sarah Sanders. "Companies like Federal Metal are starting to notice, and we’re excited to welcome them to our state."

Continues the governor, "This expansion project will bring millions of dollars and dozens of jobs to North Little Rock, strengthening all of Central Arkansas’ economy. I look forward to building on the strong business environment that brought Federal Metal here and making the Natural State even more attractive for future investment."

In 2020, Federal Metal says it developed its PSA (pre-melt specification aluminum) products, which it says offer cost savings to rolling mills that would otherwise be using more expensive prime aluminum or aluminum RSI (remelt secondary ingot). In addition to generating direct melt C11000 copper, the company says it is currently developing fire-refined copper products to "offer cost savings to mills that would otherwise be using more expensive copper cathode."

Federal Metal says it has already started hiring its Arkansas staff, equipment is on order, and it plans for the location to be operational in mid-2023. The company says it will be able to recycle more than 3,000 metric tons per month of aluminum-copper radiators in North Little Rock.

"This investment, and our recent acquisition in eastern Pennsylvania, are made with conviction in the future growth and competitiveness of U.S. nonferrous metals manufacturing," states Nagusky.

"Manufacturers of aluminum fin stock, foil and can sheet, and the manufacturers of copper tube, wire rod, bus bar, and other shapes all have exacting specifications," continues Nagusky. "This facility will help us supply one-of-a-kind solutions to our customers, and in greater volumes, without the chemistry variation often associated with scrap."

An Arkansas economic development official says Federal Metal joins an already booming metals sector that includes several scrap-fed electric arc furnace (EAF) steel mills (with another on the way) and a recently-commissioned automated scrap sorting facility in North Little Rock itself.

"The metals industry plays a key role in the vibrancy of the Arkansas economy, accounting for about 13.6 percent of total manufacturing," says Clint O’Neal, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. "More than 22,000 Arkansans are employed in the industry. I am confident that Federal Metal will find the resources and workforce they need to take this next step in their success story."

The radiator recycling facility will be set up in a building that formerly housed a food distribution center that recently moved to a larger location. "We are excited that Federal Metal has selected North Little Rock as their newest location," says North Little Rock Mayor Terry Hartwick. "The site housed a successful business in the past and will now be home to this 100-plus-year-old company for the future."