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U.S. Zinc completes first phase of Tenn. plant upgrades

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U.S. Zinc President Rodrigo Daud

HOUSTON—U.S. Zinc Corp. has completed the expansion of its zinc oxide plant in Clarksville, Tenn., increasing zinc oxide production by 8,000 metric tons per year.

The firm would not release financial details of the project, but it said the expansion brings the total capacity at the facility to 43,000 metric tons per year and added 10 jobs to its current work force of 60.

"We've been in the market for more than 50 years," said U.S. Zinc President Rodrigo Daud. "Producing zinc oxide is in our DNA. We want to make our customers comfortable with the supply and demand factor. We did the expansion in order to guarantee that our customers can continue to receive the best products and service possible."

The Clarksville expansion is phase one of the company's North American zinc oxide expansion project. Phase two involves expanding capacity of the company's Millington, Tenn., zinc oxide plant. Engineering work has begun, and the firm said phase two is expected to be complete by the end of 2014.

Phase two also will add 10 jobs to the Millington site. Daud said the facility's current capacity is 25,000 tons. U.S. Zinc said it will increase its global capacity by 17,000 tons to 140,000 when both expansions are complete.

"With the recent tightening of zinc oxide supply, customers need new capacities to meet their needs," Tracy Baugh, U.S. Zinc commercial vice president, said in a statement. "Our expansion project allows us to streamline processes for improved efficiency and reliability. This results in providing customers with high quality products with better reliability and service."

Phase one began in July and involved expanding the physical space, hiring employees and installing new equipment at Clarksville. The equipment additions and upgrades allow the use of secondary raw materials as a major feedstock, furthering the company's commitment to recycling.

Daud said Clarksville is going to run with 100 percent recycled material, and the facility will commit to recycle as much as it can.

Headquartered in Houston, U.S. Zinc is a worldwide manufacturer, recycler and supplier of zinc oxide, zinc dust, zinc metal and zinc fines with plants in North America, South America and Asia.