Big River Steel Announces $1.1B Mill for Osceola, Will Employ 525

by Mark Carter and Lance Turner  on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013 11:03 am  

Legislative leaders said Tuesday that they looked forward to reviewing the project.

Regional Growth

On Tuesdsay, local leaders lauded the development and expressed high hopes for its regional economic effects.

"It is an event that's going to bring the struggling Delta community out of the doldrums," Osceola Mayor Dickie Kennemore said.

(More: Osceola mayor tells Arkansas Business that Black River Steel is a "Godsend.")

In a statement, 1st District U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark., who represents the area in Congress, said the plant has the potential to enhance the state's steel industry and grow the regional economy. 

"If the state Legislature approves the bonds, 500 families will see new employment opportunities with good paying jobs," Crawford said. "As a member of the Congressional Steel Caucus, I work every day to expand markets for American steel and opportunities for American workers in the steel industry. In the coming weeks and months I plan to work closely with Big River Steel’s leadership team, officials in Mississippi County and Osceola Mayor Dickie Kennemore to do all we can to advocate for the successful completion of this project."

Mississippi County has been the headquarters of Arkansas' steel industry, with Nucor steel manufacturing operations in the county. Two plants are in Armorel and one is in Hickman. All three employ a combined 1,600 people, according to Arkansas Business' new list of the largest manufacturers, which will be published on Monday.

Last year, Nucor announced that its Nucor-Yamato Steel Co., a joint venture between Nucor and Yamato Kogyo Co. Ltd., approved a $115 million plan to expand hot rolled sheet piling production at its steel mill in Blytheville. The expansion is expected to be completed in early 2014.

The news release:

Big River Steel, LLC today announced plans to build a more than $1 billion steel mill in Mississippi County, Arkansas that will directly employ more than 500 people with annual average compensation of $75,000 a year.

The plans are contingent on approval by the legislature authorizing the state to issue $125 million in general obligation bonds under the authority of Amendment 82 and all necessary regulatory approvals. As required by the Amendment, Governor Mike Beebe will be referring the project to the legislature for its consideration.



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