LOS ANGELES American
Titanium Works LLC (ATW) has revived plans to build its first
titanium plate plant in South Carolina thanks to a new
investment. The plans stalled four years ago due to the
The Chicago-based producer
received $430,000 this past week from SCRA Technology Ventures,
a nonprofit company created by the government of South Carolina
to help technology-based firms commercialize their products.
ATW expects to produce both commercially pure and alloy plate
from sponge and scrap.
"The project is moving ahead.
Our plans have not changed," ATW president and chief executive
officer Tom Sax told AMM, adding that the delays could
be attributed "solely to the economic challenges of the last
ATW recently entered into a
turnkey contract with Atlanta-based Archer Western Contractors
Ltd. to build the facility in Laurens County, S.C., procure and
install the process equipment, and commission the plant before
turning it over to ATW, Sax said. No date has been set for
Two industry veterans remain
connected with the project, according to Sax, a Chicago-based
entrepreneur and attorney. Scott Jackson, founder and chairman
of Canton, Ohio-based titanium melter and processor Galt Alloys
Inc., which was sold in 1998 to RTI International Metals Inc.,
Pittsburgh, will be responsible for scrap processing and
melting operations. Richard Dykast, of the former Oregon
Metallurgical Corp., will head rolling operations.
The cost of the project has
roughly doubled to some $500 million from the original estimate
in 2008 (
amm.com, Feb. 8, 2008). Sax, who said the increase
was due to changes in the proposed plants processing
equipment, declined to reveal how much of the investment has
thus far been raised.
ATW expects to employ a combined
850 people at the plant and the Clemson University
International Center for Automotive Research in Greenville,
where it plans to operate a technical center for developing
"Everybody in the titanium
industry knows that the automobile industry is a significant
potential market" for titanium, Sax said, adding that ATW also
intends to pursue traditional aerospace and industrial markets
for titanium flat products.
ATW hasnt yet detailed its
production process, but Sax said its "centerpiece" is equipment
"designed to optimize the rolling of titanium."
Commercially pure plate is
largely sold to nonaerospace titanium customers, while alloy
plate is sold primarily for aerospace and other applications.
Sax declined to give the plants targeted capacity.