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Published: Wednesday, 6/25/2008

Start is only weeks away for plant that would add 50 jobs near Delta

BY GARY T. PAKULSKI
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

DELTA -A British firm is preparing to start construction on a $160 million plant near Delta that will create 50 jobs and boost recycling of waste from the steel-making process.

"It's a very good project," said Lisa Arend, economic development director for Fulton County. "It's 50 good-paying jobs. It's great that someone is making that size of investment in Ohio in this kind of economy."

The jobs will pay $14.50 an hour, according to information submitted to the state of Ohio.

ZincOx Resources PLC, of Surrey, England, expects to start the plant in six to 12 weeks and begin operating by late next year, Tony Rhymer, project manager, said yesterday.

The plant cost has grown by $50 million since the firm opened discussions last year with local and state economic development officials.

The project director attributed the increase to rising material costs and design modifications to boost efficiency and environmental controls.

The 45,000-square-foot facility will be built on 17 acres close to two steel minimills: North Star Blue Scope Steel and Worthington Steel.

It will recycle dust from furnaces like those at the minimills, which make steel from scrap metal.

The resulting products will be used in steel-making including pig iron, which will be shipped directly to the mills, and zinc concentrate, which will go to a plant near St. Louis for further processing for resale.

The owners expect to get furnace dust, for which mills pay to dispose, from steel-production operations "within a reasonable radius of the plant," said Mr. Rhymer, ZincOx project manager.

Fulton County will receive $500,000 from an Ohio small cities program to assist the project.

Last August, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved a 10-year credit worth $192,100 for the project. It will operate as Zinc & Iron Recycling of Ohio Inc.

Contact Gary Pakulski at:

gpakulski@theblade.com

or 419-724-6082.



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