More than a year after the announcement was first made, Nucor Sedalia is on schedule to open by the end of 2019.

Nucor Steel announced it was constructing a new steel rebar micro mill in Sedalia in November 2017. Since then, construction has progressed quickly, employees have been hired, and business has begun.

“The reception we’ve received from the community really has been humbling for us,” Vice President and General Manager Kevin Van De Ven said. “We couldn’t be happier with the quality of the team we’ve been able to hire. Our team has taken an opportunity to get involved in several community relation activities. We want to be good community stewards where we live and work.”

While it may look large to those driving past on U.S. Route 65, Van De Ven said the Sedalia rebar micro mill is among the company’s smallest locations. Nucor Sedalia will be the only operating steel mill in Missouri and one of only three micro mills in the country, according to Van De Ven.

“The footprint for this micro mill is much smaller than that of a traditional bar mill, so there’s some real advantages to that,” he said. “A smaller footprint means you’re able to run it more efficiently, means you consume fewer resources. There’s a lot of good that comes with that smaller footprint.”

Despite a challenging winter, Van De Ven said the mill construction is on schedule and crews are setting equipment. Roughly 140 employees have been hired so far and Nucor Sedalia will employ about 200 people once it is operational and at full capacity.

Van De Ven said the majority of the team is local within a 50-mile radius, with about 40 who transferred from other Nucor facilities. Van De Ven is a transfer himself, previously working as the general manager at a Mississippi Nucor mill. He said the transfers have been “a great resource for the local team” to help start the new location, and once they leave for other facilities, local team members will have the opportunity to advance in their positions.

Nucor employees aren’t the only ones working at 500 Rebar Road.

TMS International will move scrap and process slag for Nucor and has two hires on site and will eventually have 15. There are also approximately 500 construction workers on site. Ten employees from Danieli, an Italian company, are at Nucor to help set up the equipment.

Van De Ven said the goal is to start up the furnace and strike the first arc by the end of the year. Until then, the company is working to build its business.

“We’re currently receiving steel in from other divisions, rebar. And we’re reselling that rebar to customers in our target market in order to begin to build up our business,” Van De Ven said. “It’s not a large volume, what we’re able to do is train our team with loading trucks, printing up the proper paperwork for customers, so once we start up the mill, we’re in a position to take care of our customers.”

Once the mill is fully operational, it will be creating recycled steel rebar, straight length and coiled, to be used in construction projects such as stadiums or road and bridge projects; rebar was seen being used across the Nucor construction site during the Democrat’s recent tour.

“We use 100% recycled materials, scraps to make rebar,” Van De Ven said. “From cars, washing machines, demolished buildings. We’re not only a good producer for local construction, we’re also reusing local scrap into steel.”

The site includes its own water treatment system so the water used to alloy the steel can be reused, and a baghouse where emissions are sent to be filtered and used for other applications. It also includes mobile equipment that will allow the Nucor team to easily switch out pieces of equipment depending on the project being completed.

The large green building citizens see as they drive by the site will be the finished goods warehouse. The structure next to it that is still being constructed is the mill itself where the rebar will be created. There is also an administration building on site that is expected to be completed in August.

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Nicole Cooke is the editor for the Sedalia Democrat, overseeing all newsroom operations and assisting with news coverage of Sedalia and Pettis County. She can be reached at 660-530-0138 or on Twitter @NicoleRCooke.

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