Canada-based company buys Superior Steel
A Canadian company with facilities in Hermantown is making plans to buy Superior Steel on Connors Point. Dingwell's North America is expected to close this week on the company owned by Russell "Rusty" Hoglund. Superior Steel moved to Connors Poin...
A Canadian company with facilities in Hermantown is making plans to buy Superior Steel on Connors Point.
Dingwell’s North America is expected to close this week on the company owned by Russell “Rusty” Hoglund.
Superior Steel moved to Connors Point about a decade ago from Duluth.
Hoglund had been in conversations with the Canada-based company to sell the business for about six months, said Jason Serck, Superior economic development, port and planning director.
The sale is expected to close this week, after Hoglund’s death Oct. 31 complicated the process.
“We’ve actually been in this area since 2007; we have a plant in Hermantown,” said Rob Bell of Dingwell’s North America.
Like Superior Steel, Dingwell’s is a steel fabrication and machining business. Dingwell’s has been in business since 1945.
Until the downturn in the wood products industry in 2006 and 2007, the company primarily worked with the wood products industry, Bell said.
“We scrambled to diversify,” Bell added. “At that time, we had already opened in Hermantown because we’re now a large subcontractor with Bombardier. The cars that went to the Cities - the North Star line - we built the undercarriages and sidewalls and roof and a lot of the interior products.”
Bombardier Transportation, based in Berlin, Germany, with facilities in Thunder Bay, Canada, is one of the largest manufacturers of railroad equipment, passenger rail vehicles, locomotives, bogies, propulsion and controls, in addition to offering a number of services.
Then-U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar didn’t know at the time the light rail cars were being built in the state, Bell said. He said about 90 percent of the work in Hermantown is for Bombardier.
Now, he said, the company is growing again. He said Superior Steel would house additional fabrication for the company and the site on Connors Point could allow future expansion opportunities. No specific plans are in the works now.
Right now, he said, the Superior Steel site would be used more for machining to serve needs on the Iron Range.
Superior Steel has done notable fabrication work in the Twin Ports including the pedestrian drawbridge located in Canal Park and railings for the bridge over Chester Creek at Fourth Street and 14th Avenue East in Duluth.