SDI LaFarga Copperworks
In 1808, Francesc Lacambra Pont started a small foundry in the La Barceloneta port district of Barcelona, Spain. The foundry—the genesis of The LaFarga Group—produced nails, pots, bells, and other products from copper and bronze for the Catalan naval fleet.
By the 1840s, the business was one of the main suppliers of copper to the Barcelona Royal Mint, enabling Lacambra Pont to invest in the growth and diversification of his business. In 1853, the company began making copper sheeting that was used to line the hulls of wooden ships bound for the United States.
In 1913, LaFarga began producing wire rod for electric cables. As the electrical and railway industries grew over the ensuing decades, the company enjoyed considerable success. During the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939), the company was nationalized, and production was requisitioned for military ends. After the war, the company was returned to the Lacambra family.
In 1981, LaFarga Lacambra S.A. was created. LaFarga became the leading recycled-copper continuous-casting company in the world in 1986, the same year Spain entered the European Union.
The company has continued to grow and diversify its product offerings. The LaFarga Group, a holding company, was created in 2003 and identified under the trademark of LaFarga Group (LFG) in 2006.
In 1993, steel-industry veterans Keith Busse, Mark Millett (current CEO), and Dick Teets founded Steel Dynamics. Their goal was to take a proven technology—thin-slab casting—and innovate the most efficient, cost-effective process. Today, Steel Dynamics is one of the largest domestic steel producers and metals recyclers in the United States.
In 1996, production began at the company’s first flat roll mill in Butler, Indiana. At the same location, in 1998, SDI built Iron Dynamics, a producer of liquid pig iron and direct-reduced iron units used in the production of steel at the flat roll mill.
In 1999, SDI founded New Millennium Building Systems, also located in Butler. New Millennium fabricates joists, girders and decking for nonresidential construction projects at its eight facilities in the United States and Mexico.
In 2002, SDI began production at its second greenfield location, the structural and rail mill in Columbia City, Indiana. Also in 2002, SDI acquired a steel mill in Pittsboro, Indiana, and in 2004, began making engineered bar products at that facility.
SDI acquired two additional steel mills in 2006: Roanoke Electric Steel Corporation, which also included Steel of West Virginia. The two mills produce merchant bar and specialty steel shapes, respectively.
In 2007, SDI acquired OmniSource Corporation, one of the country’s largest ferrous scrap processors and the largest nonferrous metals processor, and The Techs, which includes three galvanizing plants in Pittsburgh.
SDI increased its capacity to make steel by 40 percent in 2014 with the purchase of a steel mill in Columbus, Mississippi. The company also operates two state-of-the-art paint lines and a rail-welding facility.
SDI’s next project is a $1.7 billion greenfield flat roll steel plant in Texas. This facility is designed to have product size and quality capabilities beyond that of existing electric-arc-furnace flat roll steel producers, competing even more effectively with the integrated steel model and foreign competition.
SDI is now the nation’s fourth-largest producer of carbon steel products and a Fortune 500 company. SDI employs more than 7,700 people.
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