BUTLER — Steel Dynamics Inc. plans to spend $18.5 million on expanding a northeastern Indiana plant and buying new equipment for the company's largest facility.
The Fort Wayne-based company has told DeKalb County officials that it plans to start construction this summer at the factory near Butler and finish the work within a year, The Star of Auburn reported Monday.
The company said in a property-tax abatement application that it would spend $6.7 million on a factory expansion and $11.8 million on new equipment, including cranes and coil-handling machinery.
About 630 people currently work at the mill, located about 25 miles north of Fort Wayne, that Steel Dynamics opened in the 1990s. The company said it could add about 15 jobs with the expansion.
DeKalb County Councilman Bob Wilder said a council committee has endorsed the request by Steel Dynamics for a 10-year phase-in for property taxes on the new equipment — double the county's usual tax-break period on machinery.
"The equipment that they're putting in, some of it would be similar to what they put in in 1994, so it has a long life to it," Wilder said.
The full council could vote on the abatement request next month.
The company said the project is aimed at improving the quality and consistency of steel produced at the Butler mill.