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Heritage Environmental to Build First Arc Furnace Dust Recycling Facility

Date: October 10, 2007

Source: News Room

Recycler of electric castoffs adds jobs
365 words
10 October 2007
The Arkansas Democrat Gazette
Copyright (c) 2007 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved.

A new company will deliver 43 jobs to Blytheville, adding to about 1,400 positions related to the Nucor Corp. presence in Mississippi County.

The company, PIZO Operating Co. LLC, will recycle electric arc furnace dust using what it calls the first use of a unique technology.

Through the process, waste from Nucor Hickman and Nucor Yamato steel plants can be converted to marketable metal products. Heritage Environmental Services LLC, a member of the environmental service firm Indianapolis-based Heritage Group, invented the PIZO (short for pig iron, zinc and oxide) process. It converts electric arc furnace dust into crude zinc, oxide, pig iron and slag.

"It's a good company ... the technology is very innovative, and I think it could have tremendous growth potential because what they do is take dust from steel mills, which is classified as a hazardous waste material, and turn it all back into commercially viable products," said Clif Chitwood, president of the Great River Economic Development Foundation of Mississippi County.

Chitwood estimated that salaries would be $40,000 a year or more, because of the technical nature of the work.

Nucor Corp., based in Charlotte, N.C., and The Heritage Group invested $29 million in the new company. PIZO Operating Co. will be located across from the Nucor Yamato facility in Blytheville.
The state and Mississippi County have offered the company grants and tax incentives to locate in Blytheville.

According to Chitwood, the county purchased the land and made infrastructure improvements, "roads and rail and that type of thing," Chitwood said. He said this is typical for the county and the state aided in the process. The facility will be a $30 million investment, Chitwood said.

Gov. Mike Beebe said at the announcement that "this is a great example of employing environmentally friendly ideas as an engine for economic development." Production is expected to begin by the end of 2008. It is estimated that the company will process 50,000 tons of electric arc furnace dust per year.

Information for this article was contributed by Erin Anthony of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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