WINDSOR — Cargill Inc. last month completed its $1.13 million purchase of a lot at the Great Western Industrial Park to build a massive steel processing facility which could attract more manufacturing companies to locate there in the future.
The company, which also owns the Cargill Meat Solutions packing plant in Fort Morgan, as well as several global divisions in animal nutrition, commodities, and transportation, plans this month to start building a 67,000-square-foot steel processing facility on about 8 acres at the industrial park.
It’s the first major purchase in the park since Halliburton bought 53 acres to build a $20 million sand terminal in 2012. The deal closed just before Christmas.
Cargill plans to have the facility operational by the end of the year, but it may bring with it more activity, said Stacy Johnson, economic development director for Windsor.
“If you look at Cargill’s other hubs, usually two to three more entities locate close to them,” Johnson said. “They talk about how some of their clients and supply chains tend to locate where they’re at for that kind of synergy.”
When Vestas Blades located at the park in 2010, one of its suppliers, Hexcel Corp., followed.
No Cargill suppliers have contacted Johnson yet, but she’s already working with two other manufacturing facilities that are looking to locate to the park, which is the only rail-served industrial park in Weld County. “They’re pretty much manufacturing-based,” Johnson said of the two other companies she’s working with. “They’re not really tied to one industry specifically. Some of them, their products will be utilized across several industries. So it’s very diverse manufacturing.
“They’re pretty diverse, with a lot of product lines, which is nice and stable, so if oil and gas packs it up in 10 years, they’ll survive.”
Those deals could take several more months, she said.
Pete Stoddart of Cargill said the company chose the park because of its proximity to the oil and gas activity in Weld County and in the Midwest.
Nearby, there are oil fields in Wyoming and further north into North Dakota. There’s drilling in Utah, and soon to be Nevada, as well.
“Northern Colorado is located close to the larger shale formations and it, therefore, is an excellent, central location to serve businesses of that fast-growing segment,” Stoddart wrote in email responses to questions. “It will serve customers in nearby Western and Midwestern states.”
The town of Windsor in November approved $239,000 in tax and fee reimbursement incentives for Cargill to locate there.
The plant will process hot rolled steel coils into cut-to-length steel sheets and plates. The steel is shaped and formed specific to customer needs, eventually used to make metal buildings, refuse containers, or trailer hitches, to name a few. It is expected to start with 10 employees and move up to a potential 25.
As a result, the company’s depot in Fort Collins will be consolidated into the Windsor plant once it is finished later this year, Stoddart said.
Whiel Cargill closed on the property last month, there is still some technical/legal work to be done on the land, as there is a lot line adjustment that still needs to occur to create the company’s full 8 acres, Johnson said.
Johnson said interest in the industrial park continues. The two companies she’s working with have already toured it, but there are never any guarantees.
She said one is a company expansion, and the other would be a relocation from out-of-state.