Officials discuss $1.1 billion steel mill project

LITTLE ROCK (Arkansas News Bureau) Officials with established steel operations in northeastern Arkansas told lawmakers Monday that a proposed new $1.1 billion new mill in their back yard built with million of dollars in state incentives would be bad for business for a company already pressed by subsidized steel from China.

Representatives from Nucor Steel Arkansas urged lawmakers to oppose incentives for the proposed Big River Steel, which wants the Legislature to approve a $125 million bond issue to close a deal that officials say would bring 2,000 during construction and more than 500 permanent jobs with salaries averaging $75,000 annually.

"We've shared our concerns with many of you that the global steel market is over saturated," Nucor Vice President Sam Commella told a joint meeting of the Senate and House agriculture and economic development committees.

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COMPLETE COVERAGEAmendment 82 gives state flexibility to seal super deal (Jan. 21)Legislative consultant to take crack at Big River (Feb. 24)Report urges caution on steel mill project (March 22)Officials discuss $1.1B steel mill project (March 26)Arkansas steel mill proposal gains traction (April 1)Ark. Senate committee weighs steel mill proposal (April 2)Ark. House committee OKs steel mill plan (April 3)Arkansas House approves steel mill funding (April 8)Arkansas Legislature approves steel mill funding (April 16)