Wieland, Graycor | Helmkamp Begin First Project in $500 Mil Modernization & Expansion

June 7, 2024|

 Global copper supplier and solutions firm increases capacity at 100-year-old East Alton, Ill. Facility 

EAST ALTON, Ill. – One of the world’s leading suppliers of copper and copper alloy solutions, Wieland is embarking on a $500M modernization and expansion of its facility in East Alton, Ill. Construction has mobilized on the Casting Unit 6 project, representing the first stage in this capital investment plan to re-equip, modernize and expand a facility initially opened in 1916. Wieland selected Graycor Construction Company and Helmkamp Construction Co. as its construction team for the multi-phase project.

“We’re excited to commence the comprehensive modernization and expansion project in East Alton which represents Wieland’s commitment to our long-term perspective and growth initiatives in North America,” said Greg Keown, president of Wieland Rolled Products North America. “With copper having an integral role in the energy transition, this endeavor better positions Wieland as a provider of sustainable solutions for our customer’s ever-changing needs.”

The CU6 project will increase the casting capacity and quality of copper production at the facility. The phased project includes deep foundations to support new casting equipment, an overhead crane for equipment setting, a furnace, a re-cooling system, distribution switchgear, superstructure, controls and commissioning. The building structure will have metal siding and roofing over heavy structural steel. Construction will occur adjacent to live plant operations and within a very tight site.

The overarching, multi-phase project will replace an existing hot rolling facility in East Alton that is more than 100 years old. The new facility will feature hot mill lines, milling lines, a cold rolling mill, high-bay storage with automated material handling and overhead cranes.

“Wieland’s investment in East Alton is transformative and highlights the unique industry-leading technical knowledge and abilities of our joint construction team—Graycor and our partner Helmkamp, as well as our design partners Vestal Corporation and Salas O’Brien,” said Brian Feckler, Graycor Construction Company’s Midwest Division general manager. “We are proud to be Wieland’s design-build partner and look forward to leveraging our 100-plus years of experience and collaborating with the entire team to successfully deliver this significant project.”

Helmkamp President and Owner Rob Johnes, said, “It gives our team great pride that our 85 years of heavy industrial expertise will be utilized for this project in our own community. We’re looking forward to being a construction partner with Graycor and having a strong project team to help carry out the plans for this exciting project for Wieland.”

For the transformational endeavor, the Graycor I Helmkamp team, as the design-builder, has teamed with Vestal Corporation to provide civil, structural, architectural and building MEP design services and Salas O’Brien to provide process engineering design services. The collective team is currently in preconstruction for the plant expansion phase.

“We are extremely excited to be a part of the Wieland project team,” said Mark Hubbs, vice president of poject development for Vestal. “Vestal has vast experience designing heavy industrial manufacturing facilities; we excel at complex projects and look forward to tackling this large and important project for Wieland.”

“We take pride in being selected to partner with the Wieland team,” said Greg O’Brien, principal at Salas O’Brien. “Salas O’Brien’s focus is always on providing quality solutions that deliver long-term value, and we are excited to bring our metals process engineering expertise to this transformational project.”












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