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Ratner plans second Midwest service center

Keywords: Tags  Ratner Steel, Steve Gottlieb, flat-rolled steel, steel sheet, service center, Anne Riley

NEW YORK — Ratner Steel Supply Co. plans to build a second flat-rolled steel service center in the Midwest as it looks to expand its customer base and nearly double its volumes.

The Roseville, Minn.-based company, which today operates a more than 150,000-ton-per-year steel sheet service center in Roseville, is planning to build a 100,000-square-foot facility in the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor in Portage, Ind., Ratner vice president Steve Gottlieb told AMM.

Ratner expects to break ground by April 1, with all major construction slated for completion by Thanksgiving in November, Gottlieb said.

"We’ll start inventorying steel by the end of the year," he added.

The facility, which is expected to expand Ratner’s annual capacity by at least another 100,000 tons, will include a ½- by 72-inch stretch leveler made by Red Bud Industries Inc. that is scheduled to come online in February 2013.

The company’s decision to build a facility in Portage was driven by a desire to expand its customer reach, Gottlieb said. The facility will also be located near a number of major domestic steel mills.

"Right now, there’s a significant amount of sales that we’re not part of in Indiana and Illinois because of freight restrictions. We think there are a lot of opportunities that we’re not taking advantage of," he said.

Additionally, those customers Ratner already supplies in such states as Iowa and Wisconsin will be able to take advantage of reduced freight costs from the new facility, Gottlieb said.

"We’re operating at 100 percent here now, so we believe we can sell a lot more," he added.

The company received the final approval to move ahead with the project at a Tuesday night meeting with the city of Portage.

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