Ohio Star Forge makes expansion plan
Billy Orbach, president of Ohio Star Forge, a Champion Township forging mill, says today’s vote from the Trumbull County commissioners brings the company closer to finalizing a $20 million to $22 million expansion.
The company is completing the “last couple hurdles” to adding a 33,000 square foot building, buying $14 million to $16 million in new forging equipment and adding 25 to 30 employees in the next three years.
The mill, which operates in part of the former CSC and Copperweld Steel facility on Mahoning Avenue, plans to buy a piece of equipment twice the size of any piece it has now — 1,500 tons.
It will allow Ohio Star Forge, an independent subsidiary of Daido Steel, to enter a new market niche and get new customers while also enhancing its existing market share.
The company makes hot-rolled bars from which it forges parts for the automotive and gas and oil industries. Some of its products are fasteners, nuts and cap-screws.
Ohio Star is still in negotiations with First Energy to establish electricity rates for the project, Orbach said.
“Hopefully the first of the year we’ll have a final decision,” he said of going forward with the expansion, adding, “It’s not a done deal.”
Orbach said the “very large recovery” being experienced by the American automobile market is helping fuel a need for the parts Ohio Star Forge produces.
“I feel it’s a valuable product for our area,” he said.