Nucor scouts Pacific Northwest target sites for $860M rebar mill

The Nucor Corp. Board of Directors has approved an $860 million outlay to construct a 650,000-ton-per-year rebar micro mill in the Pacific Northwest. Equipped for a full range of concrete rebar sizes and spooling capabilities, the facility will be the producer’s fourth and largest such operation, with approximately 50 percent more capacity than a mill currently under construction in North Carolina. Nucor continues to evaluate potential locations in the Pacific Northwest region and projects a two-year window for facility construction.

“The rebar we produce at our micro mills is made from nearly 100 percent recycled scrap, making it some of the cleanest steel made anywhere in the world,” says Nucor Chair and CEO Leon Topalian. “This new micro mill in the Pacific Northwest will help us maintain leadership in the steel bar market and further execute our strategy to better serve customers west of the Rocky Mountains, which also includes the addition of a melt shop at our Arizona bar mill.”

With the increase in U.S. infrastructure investments, he adds, the domestic rebar market is expected to show continued strength. Nucor has 15 bar mills strategically located across the United States and approaching 10-million-tpy capacity. They net a broad range of steel products, including concrete reinforcing or hot-rolled bars, rounds, light shapes, structural angles, channels, wire rod and highway products in carbon and alloy steels.

Concurrent with the rebar mill announcement, Nucor closed a $115 million deal for Southwest Data Products, Inc. (SWDP), a San Bernardino, Calif. manufacturer and installer of data center infrastructure. The transaction spawns Nucor Data Systems, a new business unit that will help better serve customers in the high growth data center construction business.

“This acquisition will give us new capabilities to serve a rapidly growing market and will bolster Nucor as a preferred supplier to many of the nation’s largest and most innovative hyperscale cloud and colocation data center operators,” says Nucor Executive Vice President of New Markets and Innovation Chad Utermark. “It furthers our ‘expand beyond strategy’ to invest in steel centric businesses that operate outside of the cyclical nature of steel production.”

SWDP and Nucor Data Systems will provide Nucor’s Warehouse Systems businesses with expanded capabilities in airflow containment structures, as well as new product capabilities that include manufacturing cabinets/enclosures and caging for data centers and installation services. SWDP’s compatibility with Nucor Warehouse Systems’ current manufacturing capabilities will create significant growth opportunities. SWDP’s location near the Nucor Warehouse Systems production facility in southern California will likewise facilitate integration.

The acquisition also creates a number of synergies with Nucor’s core steelmaking business. SWDP uses many types of steel as raw material that can be provided by Nucor facilities, including sheet steel, steel tubing and wire mesh. SWDP has a strong reputation for high quality products, fast lead times, and quality installation services, coupled with an exceptional customer base of leading companies requiring data centers Nucor officials note. Growth in data centers is being fueled by the increasing use of artificial intelligence, cloud-based services and video streaming across a growing number of applications.