Interest in Alabama mill does not change Nucor’s plans

Published 8:06 am Saturday, October 6, 2012



CONVENT – Recent news of Nucor Corp.’s potential interest in a struggling Alabama steel mill will not change any of the company’s plans to build in St. James Parish, state officials said.

Nucor CEO Dan DiMicco told The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that Nucor could submit a bid to purchase the ThyssenKrupp AG steel mill in Calvert, Ala. The $5 billion mill, which was snatcheded from Louisiana by Alabama economic development officials five years ago, is up for sale, along with a sister facility in Brazil. The German company is selling the mills after sustaining a $1 billion loss over a nine-month period that ended Sunday.

Nucor is currently in the middle of construction on a $750 million direct-reduced iron plant in St. James Parish, which is the first in a proposed five-phase facility valued at $3.4 billion. Other stages of the project call for a second direct-reduced iron plant, a pellet plant and a blast furnace. The final stage of the project calls for Nucor to build a $750 million steel mill. The project could produce as many as 1,250 jobs by 2019.

Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret said in a statement that the Nucor project in St. James Parish remains on schedule. He said DiMicco indicated nothing has changed relative to previously announced plans for their project.

In order to lure North Carolina-based Nucor to south Louisiana, state economic development officials agreed to a customized performance-based incentive package totaling $160 million over about six years, along with $600 million in GO Zone bond financing. To collect all of the LED incentives, Moret said Nucor needs to initiate the four additional phases of construction by 2015.

Nucor is building its facility on a site near Romeville that ThyssenKrupp had forsaken in its selection of a site near Mobile, Ala. Alabama beat out Louisiana for the ThyssenKrupp plant in May 2007. At the time, higher utility costs in Louisiana were considered to be one of the factors in driving the plant away from the state.

Nucor could be one of 10 potential bidders on the TyssenKrupp sites.