Bookmark and Share

Nucor gives update on West Virginia steel mill project

9/1/2022

Construction on the Nucor steel mill north of Huntington should start later this year or by January 2023, company executives said at the annual West Virginia Chamber of Commerce Business Summit at The Greenbrier on Wednesday.

"We have committed to purchase, or have purchased, over 80% of all the steel-making equipment we will need," said John Farris, Nucor West Virginia vice president and general manager.

Nucor announced in January its plans to build its new electric arc furnace sheet mill at the Mason County, West Virginia, community of Apple Grove, about 28 miles north of downtown Huntington.

Farris said the company has submitted about 10% to 15% of the construction contracts needed to build the new facility.

"We have selected two contractors so far - one civil contractor and one concrete contractor," he said.  "One from West Virginia and one not from West Virginia, but our plan is to hire as many West Virginia-based construction contractors as possible.

Farris did not disclose the name of the two contractors.  He said that information will be available after a groundbreaking on the site later this year.

"West Virginia was a match made in 'almost heaven,'" Farris said, which was the title of Nucor's panel presentation that included Nucor Corp.'s Rex Query, executive vice president of sheet and tubular products, and Ben Pickett, general manager and counsel of publica affairs.

"The West Virginia location on the Ohio River provides Nucor with important transportation and logistics advantages and strengthened the company's ability to serve customers in the Midwest and Northeast, the two largest sheet consuming regions in the country," Query said.

Farris added that the company's decision to select West Virginia also had a lot to do with the people of Mason County and the state.

"When we started meeting with the folks in West Virginia, we realized the culture here matched the culture of our company," he said.  "The priorities are faith, family and then whatever you do for a living, and that's kind of how we view things at Nucor.  I have seen that in the people in Mason County.  They are very smart, very resourceful and very willing to help.  We think we selected a fantastic place to build our new sheet mill."

The new sheet mill is expected to cost around $2.7 billion and have the capacity to produce 3 million tons of steel annually. 

"We have already invested over $1.5 billion in equipment," Farris said.  "We get asked over and over if we are really coming to West Virginia.  The answer is yes, we are really coming to West Virginia."

The process of obtaining the required permits is continuing, Farris said.

"We are currently working through the federal permitting through the Corps of Engineers and just recently completed the fish and wildlife survey for the river conditions," Farris said.  "We expect to submit that report by next week.  Everything has gone very smoothly, and we haven't really faced any challenges at this point."

Farris said there should be at least 800 people working on the start of the construction of the mill and will peak around 2,000 before it's completed.

"Going forward after construction, we should have 800-plus team members working at that plant," he said.  "In addition to that, we will have 100 to 200 in-house contractors working at the plant in various maintenance activities and other things.:

Farris said a study by West Virginia University showed that over 10 years of a fully operational sheet mill, Nucor would have a $25 billion economic impact on the state.

"We learned from our other plants that for every job we create, there (are) four to five other jobs created and in support of the jobs we create.  So that's the immediate economic impact," he said.

Farris said the company will not start hiring most team members for the new mill until 2023 and 2024.  The plant is expected to be fully operational by 2025.

"We may hire some, but most of the hiring will begin in fall of 2023," he said.

Farris said those having an interest in applying can go to the company's website for information at www.nucor.com/westvirginia.

Story by Fred Pace, The Herald Dispatch

 

Read the Op-Ed Here

Bookmark and Share