Back to News

Zekelman Industries to expand its inline galvanized tube manufacturing capacity to address demand for solar torque tubes

September 20, 2022

CHICAGO (September 20, 2022) — Zekelman Industries announced today that construction will begin in December on its new state-of-the-art inline steel tube galvanizing factory in Blytheville, Arkansas. Similar to the company’s most recent expansion in Rochelle, Illinois, this factory will utilize best-in-class manufacturing technology and a fully automated Matter warehouse system. This facility is designed to set industry-leading benchmarks for safety, product quality and service.

When completed, the production lines will have an annual operating capacity exceeding 200,000 tons. The facility will produce tubes featuring Wheatland’s leading ThunderCoat™ inline galvanized coating. The factory will also support the fence, solar and mechanical markets. Commissioning of the mills is expected to begin in late 2023.

“Beyond expanding our current capacity, this new factory enables our Wheatland Tube brand to bring new products and services to the market,” stated Barry Zekelman, chairman and CEO. “Our goal is to lead the industry with continued investments in our factories, teammates and communities. Together, these investments improve on the leading service levels our customers already experience and the flexibility that will benefit high-growth industries such as utility scale solar.”

This is Zekelman Industries’ third major investment in Arkansas, having recently commissioned its Jumbo HSS mill there in early 2022. This new Wheatland facility will share a campus with Zekelman’s existing Atlas Tube operations in Blytheville, a growing industrial sector in northeast Arkansas that also offers excellent access to domestic steel production and multiple transportation options. “We’ve been working with the State of Arkansas and Mississippi County since 2007. Our collective vision is delivering real economic opportunity in Arkansas,” explained Tom Muth, executive vice president and COO. “We are excited to see the local community grow and look forward to our continued partnership.”

The company expects to begin recruiting activities ahead of commissioning and to hire 80 employees to support initial operations.

About Zekelman Industries

Zekelman Industries includes the operating divisions of Atlas Tube, Picoma, Sharon Tube, Wheatland Tube, Western Tube and Z Modular. It is the largest independent manufacturer of hollow structural sections (HSS) and steel pipe, and the top producer of electrical conduit and elbows, couplings and nipples in North America. Zekelman Industries delivers a broad range of pipe and tube solutions that build its customers’ success.