Nucor Corp. on Tuesday said it will add a $230 million cold mill to its Blytheville operation as it seeks to grow sales to the automotive market.
The company shared some of its plans with Blytheville city leaders last week when it requested a property tax abatement for the project. The full request could come before the city council Tuesday night, according to the Blytheville Courier News.
In a news release, Nucor said the mill would allow it to produce products it doesn't currently make, expanding its capability "to produce advanced high-strength, high-strength low-alloy, and motor lamination steel products."
The company aims for it to be operational in about two years. It expects the mill to create 100 new jobs at an average salary of $80,000.
The Blytheville plant currently employs about 650 people.
"This specialty cold mill complex supports our strategy of moving up the value chain and growing sales to the automotive market," John Ferriola, Nucor's chairman, CEO and president, said in a news release. "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."
The company noted that putting the mill in Blytheville will give it a transportation advantage over competitors outside the region currently supplying the local market and the growing Mexican market.
"We are excited to bring this expansion to Arkansas that will enable us to efficiently produce products beyond that of any North American mill," said MaryEmily Slate, vice president and general manager of Nucor Steel-Arkansas. "We would like to thank Gov. Asa Hutchinson, our local officials and the entire Blytheville community for their support of this project."
In a statement, Hutchinson said the effects of the expansion "will be felt from the area's retail sector to the real estate market."
The Arkansas Economic Development Commission said the expansion is receiving these incentives:
- InvestArk, a sales and use tax credit program available to businesses established in Arkansas for two years or longer that invest $5 million or more at a single location in plant or equipment for new construction, expansion or modernization.
- Recycling Tax Credit, which allows an income tax credit for the purchase of equipment used exclusively for reduction, reuse or recycling of solid waste material for commercial purposes and the cost of installation of such equipment by outside contractors.
- Advantage Arkansas, which provides a state income tax credit of 4 percent of total payroll of the new jobs.
Nucor Corp., the largest steelmaker in the United States, has a three-decade history in Mississippi County and operates four facilities there, employing nearly 1,700 workers.
Mississippi County is also home to Big River Steel, a $1.3 billion steel plant coming online in Osceola. Big River turned out its first batch of steel in March.
Nucor's plants plus Big River are expected to make Mississippi County the No. 2 county for steel production in the U.S., behind Lake County, Indiana, where the city of Gary is a major hub of the United States Steel Corporation.