Southland Steel investing $18 million in expansion

(Photography by Don Kadair) Southland Steel Owner/President Joey Lombardo

Southland Steel Fabricators Inc. is expanding to a second Louisiana site, creating new fabrication and coating lines with a $18 million capital investment at the former Bradken foundry in Tangipahoa Parish.

The Greensburg-based company’s expansion will create 70 new direct jobs, and retain 176 existing jobs at the company’s St. Helena Parish headquarters and manufacturing site.

Southland Steel President/Owner Joey Lombardo says the expansion will more than double its square feet under roof to over 650,000, resulting in 110 acres between the two locations. Southland’s overhead crane-lifting capacity is now over 750 tons, with cranes ranging from 5 to 65 tons each.

Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project also will result in an estimated 111 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 180 new jobs in Tangipahoa Parish and surrounding areas.

“Since 1986, Southland Steel has built a homegrown business in St. Helena Parish into one of the fastest-growing steel fabricators in the nation,” Gov. Bel Edwards said in making the announcement. “Not only is Southland Steel growing, but it is now helping to revive the Amite foundry that succumbed to difficult challenges during the oil and gas downturn earlier in the decade. This is a company that has focused its fabrication on technology, training and quality control, and those efforts have produced an outstanding workforce for the future.”

To fabricate precision structural components for customers, Southland Steel has invested heavily in state-of-the-art fabrication equipment, including the first robotic assembly-and-welding system in the U.S. at its 300,000-square-foot complex on 60 acres in Greensburg. The company offers a fabrication capacity in excess of 30,000 tons annually, with 3D modeling software, high-capacity cranes and professional engineering teams. Southland Steel also is the only U.S. steel fabricator certified to apply intumescent fireproofing, lightweight-cement fireproofing and cryogenic coatings in-house.

Louisiana-related projects for whom Southland Steel has fabricated thousands of tons of steel include: Louisiana Sugar Refining; Shintech; ExxonMobil; CF Industries; Sasol; Marathon; Formosa Plastics; SNF Flopam; Valero Refining; Occidental Chemical, or OxyChem; and Honeywell. In Amite, Southland Steel will invest in additional equipment to expand its steel fabrication and coating services.

Southland Steel, which recently acquired the former Bradken foundry on U.S. Highway 51 in Amite, will begin operations there in late 2019 using existing staff. The company will add 40 new jobs in 2020 and expand to 70 new jobs by 2023. Initially, Southland Steel will be seeking new equipment operators, machine operators, painters and other skilled personnel.

Read a 10/12 Industry Report profile of Southland Steel.