Nucor Corp. will invest $240 million in a new galvanizing line at its Hickman-based sheet mill, the company announced Friday afternoon. The new line will employ about 100 workers and will produce 500,000 tons each year. It comes right after the company opened a $230 million specialty cold mill in April at the site which also added 100 jobs.
These jobs will pay around $80,000 per year. The expansion is expected to be completed in the first half of 2021. The announcement came after the Nucor Board of Directors decided to green light the project, the company stated. It’s part of the company’s plan to grow its automotive-related products. Once the latest expansion is complete, Nucor will employ about 1,700 workers in Mississippi County.
“At Nucor Steel Arkansas, we are building one of the most modern and efficient steel mills in the world,” John Ferriola, Nucor Chairman, CEO and President said in a statement. “This new galvanizing line, coupled with our new specialty cold mill complex, will allow us to efficiently produce products beyond the capability of any North American mill, and to have the flexibility to meet current and future demand for advanced high-strength steel products.”
Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who attended the cold mill opening in April, told Talk Business & Politics he was pleased the steel company was expanding its operations in the state. Mississippi County is the fourth largest steel producing county in the country, he said. Arkansas will have a total of 5,600 workers in the steel industry once this expansion is completed, according to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.
“Nucor’s continued investment in our state is a reflection of the company’s confidence in our pro-business environment and the strength of our workforce,” Hutchinson said. “Nucor’s plan to build a new galvanizing line in Arkansas, investing $240 million and creating new jobs, is further proof of our state’s economic momentum and our thriving steel industry.”
The company is also evaluating building additional galvanizing lines at its other sheet mills as part of Nucor’s initiative to further expand its sheet business.
“Building this galvanizing line will diversify the product mix at Nucor Steel Arkansas and allow us to better serve our automotive and value-added customers,” Mary Emily Slate, Vice President and General Manager, Nucor Steel Arkansas said. “We are positioning ourselves to become a major supplier to the growing galvanized market in the U.S.”
Nucor and its affiliates are manufacturers of steel products, with operating facilities primarily in the U.S. and Canada. Products produced include carbon and alloy steel used in bars, beams, sheet and plate; hollow structural section tubing; electrical conduit; steel piling; steel joists and joist girders; steel deck; fabricated concrete reinforcing steel; cold finished steel; steel fasteners; metal building systems; steel grating; and wire and wire mesh.
Nucor opened its first steel mill in Mississippi County in 1992.