GOVERNOR KAINE ANNOUNCES 55 NEW JOBS FOR BOTETOURT COUNTY
-Australian steel company to open first North American manufacturing facility for innovative product-
RICHMOND - Governor Timothy M. Kaine today announced that Smorgon Steel Group Ltd. will invest about $25 million in Botetourt County to open its first North American facility for its new LiteSteel™ beam product. The company will create 55 new jobs. Virginia successfully competed with North Carolina for the project.
The LiteSteel™ beam (LSB) is a significant advancement in patented steel technology using a process that delivers a unique dimensional shape providing maximum structural performance. LSB™ is destined for the residential and commercial building industry in North America. LiteSteel™ beam, unveiled in 2004 in Australia, has proven to be very popular with builders, architects and engineers. LSB™ can be used in place of other structural beams; wood composite or steel. Choosing LSB™ provides a total installed cost advantage over hot rolled structural steel beams.
“It is a great win for Virginia when we can work with our local partners to attract an international company’s first new manufacturing operation to the Commonwealth,” said Governor Kaine. “With cooperation from state and local officials, Smorgon Steel found an available site in Botetourt County to manufacture its innovative trademarked product and provide 55 high-paying jobs.”
Founded in 1982, Smorgon Steel is a vertically integrated Australian steel company, with a major presence in metal recycling, steel making and specialty steel products. It is a leading supplier of steel products in its key markets. This major investment in Botetourt County adds to Smorgon Steel’s presence in Virginia. The Company has a metal recycling operation at Chesapeake, Virginia and facilities in two other states.
“This is an important investment for the company and we went to great lengths to understand the market and select the right manufacturing location,” said Doug Roem, General Manager of Smorgon Steel LiteSteel™ Technologies. “Botetourt County provides a skilled manufacturing workforce and outstanding infrastructure for our operation. We received excellent support and advice from state and county representatives, and we look forward to a long-term future in Virginia.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Botetourt County and the Roanoke Valley Economic Development Partnership to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Kaine approved $375,000 from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Botetourt County with the project. The company also qualifies for rail access funding from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will support the project with training assistance through its Workforce Services Jobs Investment Program. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) Brownfields Redevelopment Program assisted in redevelopment of the site. DEQ’s innovative brownfields program, which assists buyers of properties where the presence, or possible presence, of environmental contamination may complicate reuse or redevelopment, provided liability relief for Smorgon, giving the new site owner comfort about past environmental issues.
“We were very impressed by the business plan provided by Smorgon Steel during the recruitment process,” said Botetourt County Board of Supervisors Chairman Wendy Wingo. “We look forward to partnering with Smorgon to help them succeed in their first U.S. new construction venture.”
“The Smorgon Steel project is an excellent example of brownfield redevelopment that balances economic development and enhanced environmental outcomes,” said David K. Paylor, DEQ Director. “Smorgon is to be commended for demonstrating strong environmental stewardship.”