Nucor to invest $230 million, add 100 jobs at Arkansas steel mill operation

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 793 views 

Nucor Corp. is investing an estimated $230 million at its Arkansas facility to build an additional cold mill that will boost employment by 100 jobs.

Officials with Charlotte, N.C.-based Nucor said Tuesday (Sept. 20) that the expansion in Blytheville, Ark., will be complete in two years and will grow employment at the plant to around 750 workers. The company also said average pay for the new jobs will be $80,000 a year.

“This specialty cold mill complex supports our strategy of moving up the value chain and growing sales to the automotive market,” John Ferriola, Nucor chairman, CEO and president, said in a statement. “It will bring value to all of Nucor’s sheet mills by expanding our capability to produce advanced high-strength steels and broadening the automotive capability of our galvanized lines at Nucor Steel Decatur and Nucor Steel Berkeley.”

Nucor is betting on estimates from Ducker Worldwide that 4 million tons of high-strength, low-alloy steels will be needed for the auto market by 2025. The specialty cold mill complex will give Nucor the capability to produce products the company does not make. Locating the cold mill at Nucor’s sheet mill in Arkansas will give the company a transportation advantage over competitors outside the region supplying the local market and the growing Mexican market, the company noted in the statement.

“Nucor has a long history of creating very competitive jobs for the citizens of northeast Arkansas,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a statement from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. “Today the company announces not only 100 new jobs but this expansion will also bring $230 million in capital investment. The impact of this expansion will be felt from the area’s retail sector to the real estate market. Thanks to Nucor for continuing to invest in Arkansas.”

Tuesday’s announcement is part of a trend of major investments at the company’s Arkansas location. In September 2015 the company announced it would install a $75 million Quench and Self-Tempering (QST) process to be utilized on its 1.4 million tons of Mill 2 rolling capacity. The project was at the time expected to be commissioned during the second half of 2016. Nucor said common applications for the material to be manufactured with the new process will include gravity columns for use in high-rise buildings, long-span trusses for projects such as convention centers or stadiums, and for all projects where seismic design is a critical factor.

The company in June 2012 announced a $115 million expansion to add production of hot rolled sheet piling to Nucor’s Blytheville steel mill. Sheet and H-piling products are used in marine construction, bridge and highway construction, heavy civil construction, storm protection, underground commercial parking and environment containment projects in the infrastructure and construction industry.