Steel plate fabricator Blastech plans $4.5M expansion in Axis, Alabama

6 May 2015

Steel plate fabricator Blastech Mobile LLC plans to build a new 21,000-square-foot facility on its existing Axis site, initiating a two-year expansion plan expected to more than double current employment from 57 to 133.

The $4.5 million project was granted a 10-year tax abatement totaling $356,150 recently by the Industrial Development Authority of Mobile County. Dunn Building Co. is the general contractor for the project.

Troy Wayman, the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce's vice president of economic development, said the 76 jobs created are expected to pay an average of about $41,000 annually.

Formed in 2003, Blastech is a partnership between Stockholm, Sweden-based SSAB and Ontario, Canada-based Warren Group Inc. The existing blast and paint facility is co-located at the SSAB steel mill off Highway 43.

The company –  which provides customized cut, rolled and painted steel plates – primarily serves customers fabricating storage tanks for the oil and gas industry.

Blastech General Manager Andy Walter told the chamber's "The Business View" in April the expansion will create a "one-stop shop" for the tank industry and enable some of the plate processing currently being completed in Texas and California to be done locally.

In fact, once the expansion is completed, the Mobile facility will be able to process more than 65,000 steel plates per year, Walter said.

Mark Johnson, vice president for Warren Group Inc. parent company T.D. Warren Group, confirmed Blastech intends to use local labor throughout the facility and anticipates annual wages, taxes and benefits to the local economy will be $3.1 million.

The $4.5 million capital investment figure also includes the addition of a state-of-the-art plasma burn/cutting bed, state-of-the-art plate rolling machine, two overhead cranes and all associated equipment.