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Original Press Release
MS Industries Provides Update on Construction of Silica Processing Plant in Russellville, Alabama
Press release date: Nov 17, 2017
Wolf Springs, AL, November 17, 2017 – MS Industries II, LLC ("MSI"), an Alabama research and mining development company producing high grade industrial silica and related products, announced today that construction of its processing and distribution facility on Walnut Gate Road in Russellville, Alabama is rapidly approaching the midpoint, and that several companies from across North Alabama are involved in the project. According to Steven D. Smith, MSI’s Founder and CEO, “our 1900’ private rail spur is complete, along with the dryer, screening tower, storage silos and approximately half of the conveyors that will move silica throughout the plant.”
Smith identified several North Alabama companies deeply involved in construction of the facility. “CSFCO of Decatur is handling the fabrication and erection of our steel structures and the equipment housed in those structures, while Williams Electric of Sheffield is overseeing and handling all aspects of our electrical installation,” said Smith. “In addition, two companies from Muscle Shoals - King & Associates and Keenum Construction – are providing assistance to us in various aspects of the project,” Smith added. MSI is committed to using local contractors, vendors and suppliers whenever possible, consistent with its stated goal of bringing economic growth to Northwest Alabama through the responsible surface mining and processing of local resources.
Smith also praised the Russellville Electric Board and the Russellville Gas Board for their timely assistance in establishing electrical power lines and gas lines needed by MSI as part of its operations. “Both utilities have been extremely helpful as we constructed the infrastructure for the plant,” explained Smith.
When complete in 2018, MSI’s industrial silica processing and distribution facility in Russellville will be completely state-of-art, and will be the largest of its kind in the country. “This plant will have more production and storage capacity for industrial silica than any similar plant across the country,” stated Dan Sim, Manager of MSI’s Russellville Plant. Sim, a veteran of the silica industry, was employed by U.S. Silica Company from 2002 to 2014 as Operations Manager/Engineer at its Jackson, Tennessee milling and production facility, a plant similar to the one MSI is constructing in Russellville. He joined MSI in November, 2016.
Sim explained that MSI’s plant in Russellville is unique in that it allows for production and storage of substantial tonnages of whole grain and ground silica flour before shipment by either rail or truck. “The storage capacity at our plant is virtually unheard of in the industrial silica market, and it will enable MSI to consistently meet customer demands in a timely manner,” said Sim. John Christmas, MSI’s Chief Operations Officer, added that “MSI is poised to provide logistical solutions to companies needing whole grain products or silica flour shipped by rail, truck or even barge. Because of our rail access and close proximity to both interstate highways and commercial waterways, and because of our unique production and storage capacities, we hold a logistical advantage in servicing both domestic and international customers.” According to Christmas, MSI’s industrial silica products are used in numerous industries and manufacturing processes, including thermal oil well cementation, foundries, fiberglass, abrasives, glass, filtration, cement and rubber/plastics.
Company officials indicated that construction crews would soon begin the erection of two steel structures at the plant, one serving as the loading station for trucks and rail cars, and the other supporting large conveyors that will supply the storage silos already on site. The final phase of the project, construction of the building that will house the large mills designed to grind and produce silica flour, is slated to begin in early 2018. The Company projects that total construction costs for the plant will exceed $50 million.