New Steel Bar Mill To Be Built In Valpo, Hire 50

30 March 2016

Recently, the story has been that steel mills are getting idled, closed or sold off.

But someone’s actually going to build a new steel processing mill in Valparaiso, and not just any mill: “the most advanced cold draw bar mill in North America” at a greenfield site in the Airport Industrial Park.

Nuco Steel Bar Technologies, an entirely new company, is going to invest $36.9 million to build a 150,000-square-foot technologically advanced mill that will process raw steel into bars. More than 50 people will work at the plant, which will be the first of its kind in North America, according to its founders.

“It has the ability to process the bar continuously instead of in stages where operators are taking off the line before the next step,” said former Moltrup Steel Products Co. President Michael Pitterich, who’s founding the company with former Nelsen Steel Executive Vice President Jim Sarwark. “It’s on the forefront.”

“Our years of experience in the marketplace showed us a need for an automated mill dedicated to the customer,” Pitterich said.

The new company represents an economic development win for the city of Valparaiso.

“I am very pleased to welcome Nuco Steel Technologies to our community,” Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas said. “Their selection of Valparaiso from other competing locations for a substantial investment demonstrates the desirability and value of Valparaiso for businesses.”

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. is offering the company $600,000 in incentives, based on its pledge of new jobs.

Construction is expected to start in May, and should be finished in 2017. Nuco will then start hiring operator technicians, and plans to get up to 50 when it ramps up to a second shift.

The new company was named Nuco so that young purchasing agents will come across it before they get to Nucor, the minimill operator that’s now America’s largest steel producer, Pitterich said.

In addition to founding Nuco, Pitterich owns Col-Fin Specialty Steel and Beaver Valley Heat Treat facilities in Pennsylvania, as well as Canada-based Union Drawn Steel.

Nuco’s Valparaiso plant, which will be able to process 50,000 tons of steel bar a year with one shift and 80,000 a year with two, will serve a number of industries, including automotive, off-road equipment, and conveyor belt-makers.

The company located in Northwest Indiana to be close to its customer base. Though it may source some of its steel from local mills, it’s here because of proximity to demand and not supply.


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