CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The cost of Nucor Corp.’s new steel mill at the Mason County community of Apple Grove is increasing.
Nucor now expects a net cash outlay of approximately $3.1 billion for the West Virginia sheet mill, up from $2.7 billion when the project was first announced in September 2021, the company announced on Thursday.
The revised $3.1 billion estimate is net of $275 million in cash proceeds received from West Virginia for costs related to the Apple Grove site location, the company said.
Nucor cited factors contributing to the increased capital cost that include general inflation, the acquisition of additional property and equipment and expanded port and rail infrastructure requirements.
The company’s board of directors approved to provide additional capital to fund the construction of the project, according to the one-year update of the planned West Virginia mill.
To date, Nucor Steel West Virginia has received all required state permits and is working to secure federal permits this spring. Construction of the new sheet mill is expected to take two to three years once all the necessary permit approvals have been received, and Nucor Steel West Virginia is actively hiring teammates to grow its team in the state, the company said.
“It’s been an exciting first year for our team in West Virginia. We cannot thank the state’s federal, state and local officials enough for their support and help with this project,” John Farris, Vice President and General Manager of Nucor Steel West Virginia, said in a press release. “We appreciate the warm welcome we have received and working with these officials to recruit the talent we will need to build an amazing Nucor Steel West Virginia team.”
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Nucor has said in the past that it hoped to break ground on the new mill in the beginning of 2023, but that did not happen. The company has declined to comment on when it expects to have a ground-breaking ceremony at the site.
The company said the new mill will have an annual capacity of three million tons per year, and employ as many as 2,000 construction workers during the building phase and approximately 800 full-time teammates when it is fully operational.
When operational, the new mill will be the most capable sheet mill in the region with a significantly lower carbon footprint than its competitors. It will be equipped to produce 84-inch sheet products, and among other features, will include a 76-inch tandem cold mill and two galvanizing lines capable of producing advanced high-end automotive and construction grades. Nucor Steel West Virginia says it will have a freight advantage and unmatched capabilities that will enable the continued expansion of Nucor’s high-quality, low-carbon steel product offerings.
“We remain incredibly excited about our Nucor Steel West Virginia mill and its advanced capabilities that will expand our ability to provide our customers with the cleanest and highest-quality steel products, particularly for demanding automotive and construction applications,” Leon Topalian, Nucor’s chair, president and CEO, said in the release. “The Midwest and Northeast consume half the sheet steel in the United States. This transformative project will provide customers in these high-demand regions with more sustainable sheet steel, create long-term value for our shareholders and fuel additional growth for Nucor.”
Nucor announced on Wednesday, the company’s Towers & Structures business unit will build a new state-of-the-art transmission tower production plant in Decatur, Alabama.
The new plant will be located adjacent to the Nucor Steel Decatur sheet steel mill and will be the first of two new tower production plants the Company plans to build. The project is expected to create 200 full-time jobs.