By Sarah Mouchet
staff writer 

Cleanest rebar mill in world to be operational in Mojave by 2026

 

November 11, 2023



At the Nov. 1 Greater Tehachapi Economic Development Council (GTEDC) regular meeting, Mark Olson, Executive Vice President of Pacific Steel Group, updated attendees on the seismic-grade recycling rebar manufacturing mill Pacific Steel plans to be operational in Mojave by 2026. The new mill would be the first to produce reinforcing steel in California, drastically reducing the need to import rebar from Washington, Oregon and other parts of the country and world, as is the state’s current practice.

Rebar is used in the construction and retrofitting of tens of thousands of structures and homes in California, including hi-rise buildings and bridges, and is a standard part of seismic building codes due to its robust reinforcing power. Historically, California has imported all of its construction steel, shipping off its scrap metal to places like Europe to be processed into reinforcements – a highly costly and inefficient process for how much rebar the state uses. The $500 million project proposed by Pacific Steel will create a facility that can process scrap metal into usable rebar within a few hours and will have the capacity to serve sites within a 400 mile radius of the mill. The mill will be the first in the world to eliminate the use of natural gas in the manufacturing process by integrating on-site renewable energy and storage facilities, making it the cleanest-running rebar mill in the world.

Pacific Steel Group’s 174-acre Mojave facility will bring 300 new jobs to Kern County, with hopes to attract another 100 workers from Los Angeles as the mill gets into full swing. An eventual 300-acre expansion of the facility is also in the blueprints.

Olson said Pacific Steel plans to have their Environmental Impact Report (EIR) submitted by the end of November to be approved next year. Pending approval, they expect to break ground on the project in mid 2025 and have the mill operational by the end of 2026. Tehachapi City Manager Greg Garrett told GTEDC that the city is planning to submit a “Letter of Support” for the project, and urged them to do the same.

Also to present at the GTEDC meeting was Cerro Coso Community College, who is in the process of creating a new Educational Master Plan. With enrollment at Cerro Coso in Tehachapi more than doubling over the last two years, more students are now enrolled at the Tehachapi satellite than at their main Ridgecrest campus, making a master education plan review a necessity. Presenters from Cerro Coso held an open discussion forum to ask business owners what classes they wish were offered in Tehachapi to help educate and employ local workers. Law enforcement, biology and vocational/trade courses were among the top most discussed.

Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Park District (TVRPD) reminded attendees of their upcoming annual Hot Chocolate Turkey Trot 5K Run. On Nov. 18 at 8 a.m., participants will gather at Brite Lake to go on a stroller-friendly 5K run around the lake. The top three male and female participants each win a turkey, and every participant gets a mug, medal and free hot chocolate. Registration is $35 at the event; interested parties can also pre-register online at https://tvrpd.org/events/hot-chocolate-turkey-trot.

Last to give an update was Adventist Health. Adventist’s Rosamond facility project continues to manifest as equipment and facilities continue to be upgraded in Tehachapi. With the recent implementation of a new fast track system for the emergency room and plans to upgrade their wound care and surgery equipment, the people of Tehachapi are in great hands at Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley’s hospital and emergency room.

On the first Wednesday of each month, the Greater Tehachapi Economic Development Council (GTEDC) meets in The Village Collective at 122 S. Green St. at 7:30 a.m. The GTEDC is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and supporting businesses in the Greater Tehachapi area. Small business owners and community members alike are encouraged to attend and indulge themselves in complimentary coffee, treats and Tehachapi business happenings.

 
 

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