Nucor opens new $230 million cold mill in Hickman

by George Jared ([email protected]) 6,503 views 

Cool temperatures and drizzle greeted guests that gathered in Hickman Friday (Oct. 25) as Nucor unveiled its new $230 million specialty cold mill complex.

Mississippi County has long been touted as the top steel producing county west of the Mississippi River. With the opening of this latest mill, there’s no doubt in U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford’s, R-Jonesboro, mind as to which is the top producer on both sides of the river.

“As of today there is no debate … Mississippi County is leading the country in steel production,” he said.

The new cold mill complex expands Nucor’s capability to produce automotive grade steel, namely advanced high-strength, low-alloy and motor lamination steel products. This will expand the number of products the company can make for the auto industry.

About 100 new workers will be employed in the new mill, and the average salary for workers will be $80,000 per year. Gov. Asa Hutchinson has been traveling the state this week touting job creation, and said he was pleased to end his tour on the Nucor campus.

“It’s great to be back at Nucor … I like coming back up here,” the governor said. “This is the third jobs announcement we’ve had this week. I like weeks like this.”

The expansion was the third at the Nucor campus since 2016. This expansion started in 2017. Company officials hinted throughout the presentation that more expansions could happen in the future.

“As a world leader in steel manufacturing technology, Nucor is particularly focused on increasing productivity and efficiency, and competing in global steel production. With today’s automakers counting on steel as their material of choice to reduce vehicle weight, while at the same time improving both safety and performance, our new cold mill will be at the forefront of making these advanced high-strength steel products,” said Jay Henderson, vice president and general manager of Nucor Steel Arkansas.

Nucor employs approximately 1,800 workers at four facilities in the state of Arkansas: Nucor Steel Arkansas (steel sheet), Nucor-Yamato Steel (steel beams), Calstrip Arkansas (thin-strip steel sheet), and Skyline Steel (sheet piling). The company started operations in Arkansas in 1992. Nucor has invested about $2.5 billion in its Arkansas operations.

Nucor Corporation is America’s largest steel and steel products producer with approximately 27,000 employees working at 25 steel mills and more than 300 operating facilities throughout North America.

Last year, Nucor produced more than 24.7 million tons of steel and more than $25 billion in revenue. Nucor is also North America’s largest recycler, using scrap steel as the primary raw material in producing its steel and steel products. In 2018, the company recycled approximately 22.2 million net tons of scrap steel.