Ryan Scott Ottney
PDT Staff Writer
NEW BOSTON — After six years of careful planning and site remediation, Infra-Metals announced on its Facebook page last week that its New Boston facility was finally open. Plant Manager Oak Williams said the facilities has already been receiving truck deliveries of steel, and expects to receive deliveries by railroad and river barge on Monday.
The project took six years of planning and site remediation before Infra-Metals signed the land purchase agreement with the Southern Ohio Port Authority (SOPA) in December. In January they awarded the general contract to J&H Erectors of Portsmouth to build a $13 million, 275,000-square-foot facility on the former diesel shop property located behind Tractor Supply in New Boston. The facility will also include a barge dock on the Ohio River to transport steel material to the plant.
To help Infra-Metals become a reality after a long planning process, the company was granted property tax abatements by the state of Ohio and the village of New Boston. The company also received site assistance, such as $100,000 from American Electric Power, $50,000 from Fluor-B&W, and $150,000 from the Southern Ohio Diversification Initiative through the Department of Energy. Now in the final hour of construction, the Scioto County Commissioners last month filed a request to the Ohio Department of Development for extension to be sure the project doesn’t lose any state funding.
Williams confirmed on Friday that the facility is now open.
“The contractor probably has, maybe, a day-and-a-half to two days of lose ends to button up. Real minor stuff like painting bollards, protective barriers around hydrants; that kind of thing. A very little bit of grating and earthwork,” Williams said. “I would say that we are at the point of being 98.5 percent complete.”
While those finished touches are being made, he said Infra-Metals has already begun receiving and shipping steel.
“So far everything we’ve brought in has been brought in by truck. So each truck has approximately 20 to 22 tons on it, and we’ve been receiving anywhere between 12 to 20 of those a day so far,” Williams said. “We anticipate receiving our first rail car on Monday. We also have our first barge shipment due to arrive either late tonight or first thing tomorrow morning.”
He said that beginning Monday the company will be receiving deliveries by truck, rail and river every day.
After beginning construction in April, the company received more than 1,000 applications and conducted more than 300 interviews before they hired about 34 employees and trained them at their Connecticut facility. Williams said the company was very pleased with the quality of workforce they found in southern Ohio.
“As happy as we were with what we found in the initial hire, we’re just as happy now as we were when we started because the guys are doing a really good job,” Williams said.
He said the company expects to grow its workforce, hiring more employees throughout the fourth quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014.
The New Boston Infra-Metals is located on 1 Sturgill’s Way, in the Bob Walton Sr. Industrial Park — named for SOPA Board Members Mick Sturgill (retired) and the late Bob Walton Sr. For more information about the company, visit them online at www.infra-metals.com.
Ryan Scott Ottney may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTwriter.