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At a ceremony in Convent, LA, ground was broken this week for the first phase of Nucor’s new $3.4-billion multiphase iron and steel manufacturing facility in St. James Parish, one of the largest industrial projects in Louisiana history.
The Nucor project will result in more than 1,250 new direct jobs, averaging approximately $75,000 per year and $3.4 billion in capital investment. Gov. Bobby Jindal, Nucor Corp. President and CEO Dan DiMicco , Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret and St. James Parish President Dale Hymel attended the groundbreaking ceremony.
“After working for three years to attract Nucor to Louisiana, I am thrilled to join Nucor CEO Dan DiMicco and local officials to break ground on the first phase of this huge new job-creating project,” said Gov. Jindal.
“Nucor’s decision to come to Louisiana instead of anywhere else in the nation or the world is a tremendous victory for Louisianians and sends yet another signal that our state is the best place for businesses to locate, grow and succeed. We are competing for the best businesses in the world. We have already announced project wins creating more than 39,500 new jobs since taking office, and the Nucor project will be a tremendous economic boost for Southeast Louisiana and our entire state for years to come,” the governor said.
“We are excited to be getting our DRI project underway and to bring good manufacturing jobs to Southeast Louisiana,” DiMicco said. “Manufacturing has long been the cornerstone of the American economy, and we feel that it will once again lead our country back to economic prosperity. America is a place where we make and build things, and the partnership we have formed between the state and Nucor is a testament to the hard work of Gov. Jindal, Secretary Moret, Parish President Hymel and other local officials and residents, all of whom have supported and championed this project.”
The five phases of the project described in an incentive agreement with the state include a direct reduced iron (DRI) facility (150 jobs and $750 million capital investment) in Phase I; a second DRI facility (100 jobs and $400 million capital investment); a pellet plant (200 jobs and $500 million capital investment); a blast furnace and coke ovens (300 jobs and $1 billion capital investment); and a steel mill (500 jobs and $750 million capital investment).
Phase I of the project, a 2.5 million tons-per-year iron-making facility, will use direct reduction technology to convert natural gas and iron ore pellets into high-quality DRI used by Nucor’s steel mills. The iron that is produced is used, along with recycled scrap, to make high-quality steel products, such as sheet, plate and special bar quality steel. Nucor estimates Phase I alone will create 500 jobs during peak construction.
The cooperative endeavor agreement (CEA) between the state and Nucor allows the company to select the order of execution of the remaining four phases of the project; however, all four phases must be initiated by 2015 in order for the company to receive the full value of the incentive package proposed by LED. If all phases are executed according to Nucor’s CEA with LED, peak employment of approximately 1,250 direct jobs is expected by 2019.
To secure the project, LED offered a customized incentive package to Nucor, including performance-based financial assistance that totals $160 million over approximately six years provided that all five project phases are initiated as scheduled in the company’s CEA with LED. Nucor also is using a federal Gulf Opportunity Zone bond allocation of $600 million, which the company will be responsible for repaying, and the state’s Quality Jobs Program.