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Nucor to build rebar micromill in North Carolina

Nucor Steel Lexington is expected to cost about $350 million and have an annual capacity of 430,000 tons.

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Nucor Corp., Charlotte, North Carolina, has announced plans to build an electric arc furnace, or EAF, rebar micromill in Lexington, North Carolina, in Davidson County.  

This will be Nucor's third rebar micromill, joining existing Nucor micromills in Missouri and Florida, both of which began operations in 2020.  

Nucor has 15 bar mills that it says are strategically located across the U.S. that manufacture a broad range of steel products, including concrete reinforcing bars, hot-rolled bars, rounds, light shapes, structural angles, channels, wire rod and highway products in carbon and alloy steels. Four of the bar mills have a significant focus on manufacturing special bar quality, or SBQ, and wire rod products. Steel produced by Nucor bar mills serves numerous end-use markets, including the agricultural, automotive, construction, energy, furniture, machinery, metal building, railroad, recreational equipment, shipbuilding, heavy truck and trailer market segments. Nucor's steel bar production capacity is estimated at approximately 9.56 million tons per year.

The Nucor Steel Lexington mill is expected to cost about $350 million and to have an annual capacity of 430,000 tons. Nucor says the facility will receive raw materials for rebar products from three scrap recycling facilities it owns. 

The company says the mill will employ 200 full-time workers when operational and create an additional 500 temporary jobs during construction, which is expected to take two years, pending permit and regulatory approvals. 

"We are very excited to grow our steel business here in our home state of North Carolina,” says Leon Topalian, president and CEO of Nucor. “The corridor between Washington, D.C., and Atlanta is one of the fastest-growing regions in our nation, and new federal spending for infrastructure will further increase demand for rebar in the region.” 

Topalian adds that the mill will produce steel with nearly 100-percent-recycled content. Currently, Nucor steel bar products contain 97-percent-recycled content. 

"We would like to thank Gov. Roy Cooper, Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders and other state officials, Davidson County, Lexington and Thomasville for their help and support of this project,” says Mike Hess, vice president and general manager of Nucor Steel Lexington.  “We are excited to grow our Nucor family in this area and to partner with local schools and non-profit organizations that support members of this community." 

Last year, Nucor announced it was looking at the South Atlantic region to construct a rebar micromill with spooling capabilities.  

“We have recently executed two successful rebar micromill startups and believe the East Coast market will be in need of additional rebar supply in the coming years, particularly with the recent passage of the infrastructure spending bill,” Topalian said previously. “Rebar has been a core business for Nucor since we got into steelmaking, and this project will enable us to maintain our leadership position in the rebar market.”