Tina McGrady | [email protected]
Several local and state officials, including Nucor Steel teammates and Governor Eric Holcomb, gathered Friday for a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the company’s $400 million steel mill modernization and expansion project.
Nucor plans to invest in its Crawfordsville site over the next five years.
The $290 million investment will be used to add a construction grade containment galvanizing line and pre-paint line in operation at 4537 Nucor Road. The capacity of the galvanizing line will be 300,000 tons per year, and the annual capacity of the pre-paint line will be 250,000 tons. The project requires the construction of a new complex for two lines. The new lines will add 80 full-time, high-route positions to Montgomery County.
The remaining investment will be used to upgrade production capacity at existing mills.
Started in 1989, Nucor Steel Indiana was Nucor’s first steel sheet mill. The company later pioneered its electric arc furnace thin-slab casting at its Crawfordsville mill and continued to invest in advanced sheet steel products and technologies thereafter. Nucor operates several sheet mills that use thin slab casters throughout North America.
Nucor employs approximately 31,000 teammates at its locations across North America, including 2,500 teammates in Indiana and 750 teammates in Crawfordsville.
“The groundbreaking we celebrate today builds on the company’s history,” said Nathan Fraser, vice president and general manager. “Our modernization project is about expanding the capabilities of our Crawfordsville mill to meet the needs of our customers today and in the future, as well as creating opportunities for our team to compete in those markets. The investment here is part of Nucor’s overall strategy to develop the core and we serve customers across Nucor. The types of products that can be provided can be expanded.”
Dan Needham, executive vice president of Nucor’s corporate team, returned to Crawfordsville for the historic day. Previously, Needham served as comptroller
General Manager at Crawfordsville Mill. He acknowledged that the company’s success can be attributed to the relentless desire of local teammates to deliver the next chapter in Nucor’s great story.
“It does not rest on your honor,” he said. “That’s why we’re here today to celebrate the beginning of another chapter.”
Needham added that Nucor changed the steel industry in Crawfordsville forever in 1989.
“No other company made commercially viable hot roll and cold roll sheet before Crawfordsville. We were told that the mill would never succeed, and that it would bring Nucor down as well. We didn’t believe it for a second … Our Indiana teammates three He has been proving the skeptics wrong day in and day out for over a decade.
Nucor is now the largest producer of steel and steel products in America. Its arc furnaces turned more than 22 million tons of scrap into new steel last year, making the company the largest recycler of any type in the Western Hemisphere and one of the world’s top five recyclers.
“Nucor cannot exist without the community,” Needham said. “Montgomery County is one of the best … with its shared values of hard work, determination and teamwork. That’s why we’re going back 30 years after doubling the mill’s capacity in 1993 and investing $400 million in this upgrade.”
Needham also thanked the state of Indiana for contributing to the company’s success, calling Indiana a champion for manufacturing.
“Indiana manufacturers directly contribute $100 billion to Indiana’s economy each year,” he said.
Holcomb took his turn at the podium to give the eulogy.
“This team is very special and has a lot to celebrate,” Holcomb said. “It’s historic, what a launch. To think about what you’ve pioneered here, the different technologies and techniques and innovations that have resulted from getting the job done and becoming the industry standard.”
He acknowledged that Indiana is the number one steel producing state in America, with 28% coming from the Hoosier state.
“We had $22 billion in capital investment last year, and that was breaking our previous record of $8.7 billion, and we’ve done more than $4.5 billion this year alone,” Holcomb said. “Our pipeline is fuller this year than last year and that means we need more steel, and your customers around the country and around the world need more steel, so you bet we’ll supply you so you can supply your customers.”
Nukor’s presence will never be taken for granted, he added.
Montgomery County Commissioner John Frey echoed the governor’s sentiments.
“This is a big day for Montgomery County,” he said. “Today we have the national spotlight. We have created an environment that people, businesses and industries want to be a part of.
Job creation is always the goal, but so is job retention.
“Keeping our best employers in the community is paramount,” Frey said. “This $400 million investment assures us that Nucor is not going anywhere.”
Frey added that the county provided $40 million in incentives and infrastructure improvements for the project.
“We invest in Nucor because Nucor invests in Montgomery County,” he said. “Nucor has given millions to local charities and our schools over the past 35 years … They are a great corporate citizen.”
Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton also offered remarks at the ceremony.
“Nucor’s commitment is extraordinary,” he said. “It’s hard to believe that it all started with wide open fields, big dreams and massive amounts of grit and determination….the community today is impossible to imagine without Nucor.
“Today we celebrate Nucor’s continued commitment to our community as they break ground on a complex that not only further solidifies their position as an industry leader, but reaffirms their partnership, trust, loyalty and unparalleled corporate citizenship with our community. We are all incredibly grateful. “