Refractory group HarbisonWalker International (HWI) is to construct a $30 million monolithic refractories manufacturing facility.

The site will be located along the Ohio River Valley in the northern Kentucky/southern Ohio region of the United States.

It said the facility will be one of the most technologically advanced refractories plants to be built in the US and will be operational by early 2018.

Capacity will be 80,000 tonnes per year. It will employ technicians and staff in a team-based environment.

The plant will feature a high degree of automation and technology, and will use lean techniques throughout its operations to maximize material flow efficiency and production.

In addition, the facility will introduce packaging technologies new to the North American market.

The company said the location of the facility was a critical feature that will provide distribution and logistics advantages. Its close proximity to accessible river, rail and highway transportation options will ensure efficient delivery of raw materials from nearby suppliers and finished products to customers.

Douglas Hall, an HWI Vice President, said: “We are a US-based company and have a strong US-based manufacturing network. We have already made investments in individual plants, in locations such as South Shore, Kentucky and White Cloud, Michigan, as part of our plans to improve our manufacturing performance across the company.

“This new plant, with its technological advancements, is the next step in our strategy to improve performance and better meet the needs of our customers.”