Steel plant to open

Published 10:09 pm Friday, September 5, 2008

AHOSKIE – Add another to the list.

On Friday, Eddie Kane Steel (EKS) was welcomed to a growing number of businesses opting to locate in Hertford County.

The new industry, one that fabricates steel plate from Hertford County Nucor and sells it to their list of clients, is located in the former Carolina Billets building on Johnny Mitchell Road south of Ahoskie.

“We were shopping around for a site and this one really fit our needs,” EKS Operations Manager Larry Bevivino said. “With the rail spur right here and the available acreage, it was a perfect fit for us.”

EKS is growing its steel processing business as a fabricator of industrial equipment parts and counterweights that are used in the construction, drilling, elevator and theatrical stage equipment industries. The company’s processing capabilities in the Ohio facility include plasma and oxy-fuel flame cutting, bending, drilling and punching, shearing and light machining. These value-added capabilities enable Eddie Kane Steel to provide a diversified product range, including custom-made parts, to a larger customer base.

At the outset of opening the Ahoskie facility, Bevivino said it will be primarily used as a handling and storage unit for the Ohio plant. However, within the next 12 months, he said the Ahoskie plant will offer the same processing capabilities as the Ohio facility.

He said the Ahoskie plant will eventually employ 12-to-15 full time workers who will work two shifts.

Bevivino praised the help provided by Hertford County Economic Development Director Bill Early.

“Bill has worked hard to make this happen, both for us and to increase the labor force for Hertford County,” Bevivino said. “We really appreciate his efforts. He took us to several sites in your county and we opted for this one.”

Early returned the compliment, saying Eddie Kane Steel was a great company to work with.

“We’ve been working with them since October of last year,” Early said. “They surveyed several sites, but settled on this one because of the rail line. They will be able to receive and ship by rail, as well as using truck lines. That’s a win-win-win for the local railroad company, the trucking firms and for Hertford County. We’re proud to welcome Eddie Kane Steel.”

Early said that he remains optimistic that other steel-related businesses may call Hertford County home.

“Nucor is already responsible for several spin-off companies here and the opportunity is here for others to follow,” Early noted.

Early added that EKS will make a $1 million-plus investment in Hertford County.

“They are purchasing the property, that tells me they intend to stay here for a long time to come,” he said.

A formal welcome and ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for 11 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 13 at the plant.

Eddie Kane Steel, an S corporation registered in the state of New Jersey, commenced business in January 2000. The company’s corporate headquarters are located in Spring Lake, New Jersey and additional sales and administration are carried out in the company’s northeastern Ohio (Mahoning Valley) office, adjacent to the company’s material processing and warehouse facility.

The company is a steel service center and distributor of primary and secondary steel plate and coil, plate products, and coil products. EKS is focused on enlarging its inventory of secondary steel plate as it strengthens and establishes new relationships with a variety of secondary steel plate end users throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, West, and Southeastern regions of the U.S. and Eastern Canada. Eddie Kane Steel’s current inventory of steel plate, approximately 15,000 tons, ranges in thickness from 3/16 to 8 inches.

With more than 180,000 square feet of space and a total crane capacity of more than 500 tons, the Ohio facility allows EKS to warehouse most of its inventory under one roof and to expand and streamline its value-added services thereby increasing its sales. Major processing equipment includes a high-definition plasma burning machine, several oxy-fuel cutting machines with a total of 50 torches and more than 800 linear feet of cutting surface and several shears that allow shearing of hot rolled plate up to 1-inch thick by 10-foot wide. Additional processing equipment enables Eddie Kane Steel to service customers’ specific needs using their material or plate and/or coil from Eddie Kane Steel inventory.

Eddie Kane Steel differentiates itself in the marketplace through its large and diversified steel plate inventory that is offered at competitive prices and can be shipped with a quick turn-around time to accommodate customers’ needs and schedules. The ability to fabricate steel plate to customer specifications and provide value-added services, combined with a sizable inventory of desirable primary and secondary steel plate, adds to the company’s growing market position.

Eddie Kane Steel has more than 400 active, established accounts with approximately 100 repetitive accounts ordering at least once every six weeks. Customers include original equipment manufacturers (tools, equipment, and machines), fabricators, machine shops, job shops, medical instrument manufacturers, infrastructure contractors and other metal distributors needing niche products. Customers are located throughout the continental United States and Canada.