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Published: Wednesday, 6/27/2007

Factory site sought by Toledo's Heidtman Steel

Sites in the upper Midwest and the South are being considered by Heidtman Steel Products Inc. for a new $225 million mill that would supply high-strength steel to the auto industry and other manufacturers.

John Dillingham, director of technical services for automotive products for the Toledo company, said talks are being held with another company to form a joint venture. The plant would employ 200.

The company has no deadline to announce a site.

The plant would produce a grade of high-strength for vehicles, appliances, pipes, and furniture.

Heidtman is primarily looking at locations in Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois, but the company hasn't ruled out putting the steel mill in a Southern state to be closer to automotive plants in the region, the company official said.

"We do have some locations that we are reviewing," he said. "There doesn't seem to be a shortage of places to build."

Among the factors being used to determine a site are the proximity to manufacturers who would buy the steel, accessibility to raw material suppliers, and transportation facilities, Mr. Dillingham said.

A supplier of steel for the Big Three automakers, Heidtman has partnerships in steel processing facilities.

One is with SeverCorr Corp. involving a recently opened $850 million facility in Columbus, Miss. It has a 700,000-square-foot cold mill and is one of only four in the country capable of producing coils up to 72 inches wide.

Heidtman, which has plants in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Maryland, processes nearly 5 million tons of steel a year at various company and joint venture operations.

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