New Mexico steel firm plans expansion

8 August 2018

Amfabsteel Inc. has announced plans to add another 75,000 square feet to its manufacturing plant in Bernalillo.

The 35-year-old company makes steel beams and columns for use in building schools, casinos and hospitals, among other projects, said Denice Tally, the company’s special projects coordinator.

Locally, the company supplied steel to build the Presbyterian Santa Fe Medical Center nearing completion on the city’s south side and also the steel for Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino, which opened in 2008.

Amfabsteel’s expansion will create another 40 jobs for a total of 113 employees, Tally said. The company is hiring for the expansion and already employs Santa Fe residents, she said.

The company plans to seek Local Economic Development Act funds from the state, she said. LEDA funding allows private businesses access to public money for limited purposes, including job creation. The grants are contingent upon the company meeting performance targets, said Steve Jenkins, president and CEO of the Sandoval Economic Alliance.

“They’re in a major expansion mode and LEDA funds would be essential for their expansion,” Jenkins said Monday. “Otherwise, they would consider expanding in another state.”

The company announced its plans last week, although the funding application is in early stages.

“That’s still up in the air,” Tally said. “We have to secure this piece of property before we can move forward with how we’re going to design and build” the expansion.

Protective tariffs of 25 percent imposed in February on imported steel by the Trump administration did not factor into the expansion plans, Tally said, quoting the company president, Mark Mosher. The tariffs benefit domestic steel makers, generally, but the price of all steel rose as customers rushed to lock in prices.

Tally said the addition, although announced recently, was part of broader, long-range goals.

“Developers are going to develop, regardless of the extra costs,” she said about rising steel prices. “The costs are pushed through us, and the developers aren’t concerned at this point.”

Most of Amfabsteel’s business is out of state, with much of it in California, Arizona and Nevada, Tally said.

“We just have the potential to do and sell a lot more work than we’re producing right now,” she said.