Multi-Million Dollar Plant Expansion In Duluth

By KBJR News 1

January 3, 2012 Updated Jan 3, 2012 at 7:40 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) -- A business in Gary–New Duluth is breaking ground on a multi–million dollar expansion.
ME Elecmetal is expanding for the second year in a row.

Elecmetal makes ore products for the mining industry.

LeAnn Wallace reports.

Duluth's plant manager says that the demand for their ore products is up and this expansion will help them keep up with the global demand.
A lot of third world countries want to build infrastructure and to do so they're relying partly on this ore

The $12.2 million dollar expansion is set to increase production at the Duluth plant by 25 percent. The expansion is being primarily financed internally by the Elecmetal Board out of their corporate offices in Santiago, Chile The investment is also expected to add an additional $3 million dollars to the plant's payroll.

Bill Grau, the plant's manager says this is a good way to ring in the New Year.

"Anytime you're increasing the capacity of the facility adding jobs, it's a fun time. You know, there are plenty of down times in these businesses as well, so when you're on the other side of things it's kind of nice."

The plant was originally built in Duluth in 1990 to support the mines on the Iron Range, but has since diversified to do business with six continents across the world.

Elecmetal says they're already pretty well booked through 2012.

30 permanent jobs are expected to come with this expansion. These will mostly be production jobs. The expansion is expected to be completed by this fall but they'll be hiring over the next few months.