Good News – $87 Million Investment in Barnwell County, SC

It’s green technology on a greenfield site. 

Horsehead Corporation, a leading U.S. producer of specialty zinc and zinc-based products, is going to locate a new $87 million recycling facility in Barnwell County, South Carolina.   The project may add up to 65 jobs. 

That is good news that will offset job losses and provide more opportunities for skilled workers.

Horsehead is headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA has over 1,000 employees and operates six facilities throughout the U.S to process electric arc furnace dust, a zinc-containing waste produced by mini-mill steel production. 

According to information provided by the company, Horsehead Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: ZINC), the parent company of Horsehead Corporation, reported consolidated net income of $9.4 million for the third quarter of 2008, or $0.27 per diluted share, on net sales of $109.2 million.  This represents an 18.5% decline in net sales over 2007, which was primarily attributable to a 45% decrease in the price of zinc.

Does it seem counterintuitive to make such a large investment now?

Not according to Tonya Crist, principal with In-Site Consulting a site-selection firm in Greer, SC, who landed the location for Horsehead.  Crist says the company started considering a location in South Carolina over a year ago because they sell zinc oxide to Michelin and Bridgestone and zinc metal to Trinity Industries all located within the Palmetto state.


Horsehead also secured a long-term contract with Nucor Steel to recycle their EAF dust from Nucor’s three facilities in the Carolinas. 

“Despite the economic downturn, the factors driving them a year ago are still as important.  There is still a strong demand,” said Crist.

Construction is off to a fast start.  Ground has already been broken and the new facility is expected to open by the middle of 2009 and have a fully-installed capacity of 180,000 tons per year.