DURANT, Okla. — Officials with Irving-based Commercial Metals Co. announced plans on Monday to build a new micro mill in Durant, Oklahoma. The plant is expected to create 300 new jobs and pump nearly $400 million in to the local economy.

DURANT, Okla. — Officials with Irving-based Commercial Metals Co. announced plans on Monday to build a new micro mill in Durant, Oklahoma. The plant is expected to create 300 new jobs and pump nearly $400 million in to the local economy.


"This is one of the largest projects to come to Oklahoma in the last 10 years," Durant Industrial Authority Executive Director Tommy Kramer said. The DIA has spent the past eight months working to bring the plant to Durant, Kramer said.


Many different groups and organizations partnered together to bring the mill to Durant, including the DIA, city of Durant, Choctaw Nation and the state of Oklahoma.


"We are extremely excited to welcome CMC to the city of Durant. Our pro-business climate, great quality of life, and skilled workforce make Oklahoma the perfect home for this world-class manufacturing operation," Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said in a statement.


Kramer said the plant is expected to take two years to build on the 375-acre site. In addition to the construction of the facility, the plant will require additional infrastructure upgrades to local roadways, railways and water and power systems, Kramer added.


With the plant coming to Durant, Kramer said he expects to see other ancillary industries move to the region. These businesses could include machine shops, diesel mechanics, service shops and trucking companies.


"When it is all said and done, it will represent between $380 million and $400 million in investment," Kramer said.


This is the second mill of this type built by CMC and will be similar to a high-tech metal mill built in Mesa, Ariz., the Oklahoman reported Monday. Since that mill was built, the technology used to create the original facility has been improved making the proposed Durant facility a state-of-the-art industrial complex, Kramer said.


"The location of the mill in Durant, Oklahoma … will allow us to better serve a growing North Texas market as well as expand into markets in Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas and Missouri," CMC President and CEO Joe Alvarado said in a statement from the company. "The facility will produce low-cost, high-quality steel products, which will complement our existing manufacturing capability to better serve our customers. This new micro mill will also complement CMC’s existing recycling and fabrication footprint, enhancing CMC’s ability to further leverage our raw material supply chain and optimize product mix within our existing operations."


Kramer said the company will initially start training 120 employees for the facility, with plans to staff 220 in 2017. When the facility reaches full employment, Kramer said, he expects it to employ 300 full-time employees. This would put it alongside Cardinal Glass, the largest industrial employer in Durant.


Like other major employers in Durant, CMC is expected to draw employees from the Texas-side of the Red River. "As large as the project is, it will enhance the entire region of Texoma," Kramer said.


CMC is expected to host an on-site workforce recruitment set at the plant up to a year before it opens, Kramer said. This site will be used to recruit workers and provide training for positions including engineers, metallurgists, management and machinists. The average yearly salary for these positions will be $60,000 plus benefits, Kramer said, noting that this is double the Bryan County average.


Denison Development Alliance Vice President William Myers said the new mill will likely give a boost to regional retail and commerce through an increase in payroll.


Additionally, Myers is optimistic that some workers will choose to live in cities like Denison and Sherman while working in Durant. This would, in turn, increase the money spread throughout the local economy of these communities, he said.


In describing what makes Durant the best site for the new plant, Kramer said: "We had the right location, we had the right infrastructure. … We were able to come together with all the proper players to make this happen."