BRANDENBURG, Ky. — Gov. Matt Bevin and executives from Nucor Corp. Wednesday heralded the company’s plans to build a $1.35 billion steel plate manufacturing mill in Meade County as both an immediate and long-term economic development achievement, creating more than 400 full-time jobs at $45 an hour in the coming years and ranking as one of the state’s largest-ever single investments.
“Nucor is a proven, longtime corporate citizen in Kentucky and a key partner in our world-class primary metals industry,” Gov. Bevin said. “We are grateful for the company’s decision to construct a new state-of-the-art mill in Brandenburg. This massive project will transform the region’s economy and provide high-quality jobs to Kentuckians for generations to come. Thanks to Nucor’s strong commitment to the commonwealth, we are taking another momentous step toward solidifying our reputation as America’s engineering and manufacturing center of excellence.”
The 1.5-million-s.f. facility will sit on 900 acres in the Buttermilk Falls Industrial Park along the Ohio River in Brandenburg. With a production capacity of 1.2 million tons per year, the steel mill will enhance Nucor’s ability to serve customers throughout the region and meet needs for the company’s customers nationwide.
Full-time positions at Nucor will pay an average annual wage of $72,000, and will include equipment operators, production specialists, safety and environmental technicians, engineers and office support staff. Nucor executives anticipate construction will begin by year-end with the facility opening by 2022. The project could create as many as 2,000 construction jobs.
The announcement comes just six months after the company announced a $650 million, 70-job phase II expansion at Nucor Steel Gallatin, a mill producing flat-rolled coils in Ghent. That project promises to nearly double the mill’s annual capacity to approximately 3 million tons. Phase I of the Gallatin plant’s expansion, announced in May 2017, included a new building to house galvanizing and pickling lines. That phase, which is expected to open in the first half of this year, represents a $176 million investment and the addition of 75 new full-time jobs.
“The new plate mill will grow our company’s already significant presence in Kentucky. With this announcement, Nucor is currently investing more than $2 billion in our Kentucky operations,” said John Ferriola, chairman, CEO and president of Nucor. “We would like to thank Gov. Bevin, officials with the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and local officials in Brandenburg and Meade County for their help and support with this project.”
In Kentucky, Nucor and its affiliates already employ approximately 2,000 people at Nucor Steel Gallatin, Steel Technologies LLC, Republic Conduit and Harris Rebar. Nucor also owns the David J. Joseph Co. and its six subsidiary River Metals Recycling facilities across the state, which collect and recycle scrap metal.
Kentucky’s primary metals industry encompasses more than 220 facilities employing nearly 20,400 people. The sector includes producers and downstream processors of steel, stainless steel, aluminum, iron, copper and brass. Nucor’s Brandenburg mill announcement pushes the state’s primary metals totals during the Bevin administration – begun December 2015 – to more than 60 expansion and new-location announcements. Those promise to create more than 3,600 full-time jobs with $4.84 billion in investments in the coming years.
Including Nucor’s Brandenburg mill, Kentucky’s manufacturing, service and technology sectors, companies have announced more than $19.4 billion in investments during the Bevin administration, which are creating 51,000-plus full-time jobs.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Nucor is North America’s largest recycler and the nation’s largest steel and steel products producer. The company employs more than 26,000 people at more than 300 facilities primarily located in North America.
Brandenburg Mayor Ronnie Joyner pointed to the economic benefits of what will become a generations-long partnership.
“This is a banner day for Brandenburg and our city welcomes Nucor with open arms. We pledge to help our newest corporate partner make its mill a success and continue the tremendous positive impact for the long-term,” Mayor Joyner said. “We’ve worked hard to make Brandenburg an outstanding and desirable place to live and work – and to attract new businesses to the community. This announcement is proof our efforts were well placed and it promises to bring additional economic vibrancy and momentum for years to come.”
Meade County Judge-Executive Gerry Lynn welcomed the company’s jobs and investment.
“Today’s announcement by Nucor will reverberate across Meade County and the region for decades into the future,” Judge-Executive Lynn said. “The new jobs, investment and related spending brought by this project will make Meade County additionally attractive for related steel and shipping businesses and other manufacturing and service companies. We thank Nucor for its confidence in our county and look forward to a long, mutually beneficial relationship.”
David Pace, Meade County-Brandenburg Economic Development chairman, congratulated Nucor and the partners involved in making the region attractive for industrial development.
“We owe huge thank you to Nucor for entrusting Brandenburg and Meade County with being the home of this hugely important project,” Pace said. “The mill’s announcement today further underscores the years of foresight and preparation by our board, city and county leaders, utility partners and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. Collectively we’ve worked to establish Buttermilk Falls Industrial Park and advance it over the years with infrastructure, utilities and due diligence that made it desirable for a great partner like Nucor.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in a special meeting today preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $30 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
Additionally, KEDFA approved Nucor for up to $10 million in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.
Nucor has two performance-based incentive agreements from KEDFA for the current expansions in Gallatin County.
Nucor is also eligible to receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives.
For more information on Nucor, visit www.Nucor.com.
A detailed community profile for Meade County can be viewed here.