Cause for Celebration

SDI La Farga hosts open house.

SDI La Farga LLC, the joint venture between carbon steel producer Steel Dynamics of Fort Wayne, Ind., and copper product manufacturer La Farga Group, based in Barcelona, Spain, welcomed visitors to its New Haven, Ind., manufacturing plant July 10. The facility, which includes a 320-metric-ton furnace, produces copper wire rod from recycled copper.

Roy Perala, formerly with Steel Dynamics, is general manager of SDI La Farga, while Jake Fetters is the company’s production supervisor.

During a tour of the 85,000-square-foot facility, which had been in operation for roughly one month, Fetters said the plant would operate on a 24-hour cycle, with eight hours required to melt a full furnace charge, eight hours needed to prepare the molten copper for casting and eight hours required for casting.

The mill’s primary line produces 8-millimeter wire. A secondary breakdown mill can produce thinner gauge wire, Fetters said. Initially, SDI La Farga expects 25 percent of its production to require additional processing through the breakdown mill, he added, though this will vary based on orders the company receives.

The SDI La Farga plant is based on La Farga LaCambra’s operations in Barcelona, though the furnace is roughly 1.5 times the size of the original furnace in Spain, Fetters said.

A luncheon at the grand opening featured speeches from SDI President and CEO Mark Millett, La Farga Group President Vicente Fisas Comella, Indiana Secretary of Commerce Dan Hasler, Indiana Sen. Tom Wyss, Allen County Commissioner Nelson Peters and New Haven Mayor Terry McDonald.

Wyss said he expected the new facility to do “nothing but grow” in light of SDI’s involvement, while Peters said partnerships such as SDI La Farga “will help the county continue to grow and thrive.”

The elderly Comella said that, despite his physical limitations, it was important for him to be at the open house and that his faith in the project made the difficulty of travel possible. In fact, illustrating La Farga Group’s excitement about the SDI La Farga joint venture, four generations of Comella’s family were present at the grand opening. 

SDI’s Millett said the character of the Comella family was one of the reasons SDI partnered with La Farga Group, which brings a great deal of technical expertise to the project.

Of the new company’s location, he said, “It is not by happenstance that we are in Indiana,” adding that the state’s business climate was “tremendous.”

Millett added that the goal of SDI La Farga would match SDI’s goal of being the lowest cost operator in all of its business segments.