A manufacturing company that supports the steel industry announced Monday that it will expand its El Dorado operations with a $3.5 million facility and 60 jobs to accommodate the extra work it expects from the $3 billion mill U.S. Steel is building in northeast Arkansas, a top company executive said Monday.
The Systems Group's facility in El Dorado now employs 80 people to help produce its patented "Spray-Cooled" equipment "for an electric-arc furnace to make sure that the steel container of the furnace doesn't melt while you are melting scrap metal to make new steel," said Kyle Morgan, the company's marketing director and member of its executive management team.
U.S. Steel announced in January it intends to build its most advanced steel-making facility in North America at a site in Osceola that will have 900 direct and indirect jobs. The mini-mill will feature two electric-arc furnaces that will have the capability of producing 3 million tons of steel a year.
U.S. Steel purchased Big River Steel for $1.3 billion in 2020 and announced the following year a $1.2 billion expansion of Big River Steel.
Altogether, the mills have allowed Arkansas to supplant Pennsylvania as the largest steel producer in the United States.
All those mills use electric-arc furnaces, which are far cleaner than traditional integrated plants fed by coal, and all use equipment from The Systems Group, a privately held company.
"We have maintenance teams at all of the mills and then we were involved with building all of them and we will have our construction arm help with building the Big River Steel complex," Morgan said.
The company was founded 50 years ago and has six divisions with operations in 15 states to work with all aspects of the steel industry.
"America is going through a resurgence of bringing manufacturing jobs back to the USA, and our business is benefiting from that," Lee Morgan, Systems' owner and president, said in prepared statement. "The steel industry is investing in new mills and expansions, and as a result, Systems' orders are dramatically increasing for our Spray-Cooled equipment, SMAC [Self-Maintaining Air Cleaner], and our maintenance and construction services. This expansion will help us triple the equipment we currently build in Arkansas.
Charles Hays Jr., the company's chief executive officer, said Systems is committed to El Dorado.
"We are very excited to bring more jobs to South Arkansas," he said. Most of our competitors build their equipment overseas and import it. We proudly put 'Made in the USA' in big letters on our equipment and our customers love it."