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Darien, Ill.-based Leeco Steel, a distributor of steel plate, will build a distribution and processing center in Hertford County, N.C.

The facility, expected to open in late 2008, will serve many plate-consuming industries throughout the Southeast and East Coast. The 100,000 square-foot plant is Leeco's fifth plate distribution facility in North America.

The facility will emphasize plate distribution and processing services to industries such as bridge, barge, ship and wind power. According to the company, the plant will be designed to allow customers to take advantage of truck, rail and barge shipping.

"The Hertford County plant will provide geographic proximity to our customers and processing that is not currently available in our other facilities," says Bob Pepoff, Leeco Steel CEO and president. "This expansion positions Leeco to become a major competitor not only in the Southeastern United States, but everywhere east of the Mississippi River."

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