Nucor Announces Ground Breaking in St. James Parish Project

Mar 07, 2011, 13:14 ET from Nucor Corporation

CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Nucor Corporation (NYSE: NUE) announced today that it has broken ground on its direct reduced iron (DRI) making facility that will be located in St. James Parish, Louisiana. Nucor's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Dan DiMicco, spoke at the event, alongside Governor Bobby Jindal and Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret.  

The company also announced today that Lester Hart has been named the General Manager of the St. James Parish facility.

The company received its air permit from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality in January after meeting all of the requisite standards ensuring its facility will comply with state and federal environmental controls. Issuance of the air permit allowed the company to begin the process of ordering equipment, and the company will now commence construction.

"We are very excited to be here in St. James Parish to break ground on our $750 million DRI facility. This facility is an important investment for our company and the state of Louisiana," said DiMicco. "Our nation's economy has been long-suffering, and strong, solid manufacturing growth is the path back to solid economic growth. At a time when job creation is vital to our nation's economic success, we need more capital investments like this one that are the result of the public and private sectors working together. We would like to thank Governor Bobby Jindal, Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret, local officials and members of the St. James Parish community for their support of this project."

Nucor's commitment to Louisiana has come after a long process of site selection and permitting, negotiations with state and federal lawmakers, as well as local elected officials and community residents.

Initially, Nucor will build one DRI plant, but has been permitted for the construction and operation of two plants with a combined annual DRI production of 5,500,000 tons.

Direct reduction technology converts natural gas and iron ore pellets into high quality direct reduced iron used by Nucor's steel mills, along with recycled scrap, to produce numerous high quality steel products such as sheet, plate and special bar quality steel. The DRI facility is the first phase of a multi-phase plan that may include a coke plant, blast furnace, pellet plant and steel mill.

The project will create a substantial number of quality jobs. The project's first phase will create 150 permanent Nucor jobs that earn an average annual salary of $75,000, plus benefits; approximately twice the median household income for that part of Louisiana. During peak construction, 500 jobs will be directly created. If the additional phases of the project are constructed, over time Nucor could have a total investment of over $3 billion and increase permanent employment to more than 1,000. To date the company has invested over $50 million to acquire approximately 4,000 acres of property on the Mississippi River for the facility.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Nucor and affiliates are manufacturers of steel products, with operating facilities primarily in the U.S. and Canada. Products produced include: carbon and alloy steel - in bars, beams, sheet and plate; steel joists and joist girders; steel deck; fabricated concrete reinforcing steel; cold finished steel; steel fasteners; metal building systems; light gauge steel framing; steel grating and expanded metal; and wire and wire mesh. Nucor, through The David J. Joseph Company, one of the leading scrap companies in the U.S., also brokers ferrous and nonferrous metals, pig iron and HBI/DRI; supplies ferro-alloys; and processes ferrous and nonferrous scrap.  Nucor is North America's largest recycler.

Certain statements contained in this news release are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties.  The words "believe," "expect," "project," "will," "should" and similar expressions are intended to identify those forward-looking statements.  Factors that might cause the Company's actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: (1) the sensitivity of the results of our operations to prevailing steel prices and the changes in the supply and cost of raw materials, including scrap steel; (2) market demand for steel products; (3) energy costs and availability; (4) competitive pressure on sales and pricing, including competition from imports and substitute materials; and (5) capital investments and their impact on our performance.  These and other factors are outlined in Nucor's regulatory filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including those in Nucor's December 31, 2010 Annual Report on Form 10-K.  The forward-looking statements contained in this news release speak only as of this date, and Nucor does not assume any obligation to update them.

SOURCE Nucor Corporation