It likely never will rival Pittsburgh of the 1950s, but Mesa is about to start pumping out more steel.
Commercial Metals Company is looking to nearly double its production and add scores of workers with an expansion near Meridian and Pecos roads in southeast Mesa.
CMC’s request sailed through the Planning and Zoning Board and Mesa City Council, receiving council approval April 5.
“The proposed merchant micro mill will create an additional 186 high tech positions with an average salary of $70,000 per year plus benefits,” CMC’s pitch said, noting the existing mill has 242 employees.
CMC says the new mill will pump out 600,000 tons of rebar and other steel products per year.
And the Mesa plant boasts it leads the way in green production:
“Similar to our existing operations in Mesa, which has the lowest carbon emissions of all domestic steel mills, the proposed mill utilizes innovative technology that will allow it to be even more environmentally friendly.
“In addition, the proposed Merchant Micro Mill has the potential to be the first steel mill to be partially powered through solar energy.”
The micro mill will melt down recycled metal, including used cars, appliances, machine turnings and assorted scrap metal in a 105-ton furnace.
The boiling, liquid steel goes to a ladle metallurgy station where it is refined, then poured into a water chilled copper mold.
CMC’s steel plant is bordered by East Pecos Road to the north and East Germann Road to the south. The new mill will be just under 500,000 square feet on 84 acres west of the current mill.
The site plan also shows a 40-acre solar panel area located on the northeastern section of the property.
When CMC shared its plans with neighbors in January, “Dave Jarvis expressed his concern regarding Meridian Road becoming a bottleneck and inquired as to CMC’s plans to widen Meridian,” according to the proposal’s citizen participation report.
Jarvis and another neighbor also requested an 8-foot cinder block wall be constructed along Meridian and Pecos Roads, with landscaping “to soften the appearance of the wall and manufacturing facility."