Nucor Announces Plans to Build $1.35 Billion Midwest Steel Plate Mill

Nucor Steel, which has a major presence in Northeast Arkansas’ “steel corridor,” has announced a major multibillion-dollar steel mill investment in an unknown location in the Midwest part of the country. The announcement comes as the Charlotte, N.C.-based company continues to see record profits as a result of trade tariffs set up by President Donald Trump’s administration.

Nucor officials revealed the plans Monday (Jan. 7), saying the company expected the factory to be fully operational in 2022 and capable of producing 1.2 million tons per year of steel plate products. Company officials said the project, which has already been approved by the Nucor board of directors, will create approximately 400 full-time jobs.

“This investment is consistent with our drive to continue delivering sustainable, profitable growth and superior returns for shareholders,” Nucor Chairman and CEO John Ferriola said in a statement. “Together with the significant share repurchases completed in 2018, the Board’s decision to fund this high-return opportunity demonstrates our commitment to balanced capital allocation. We have a strong foundation to build upon as we advance our goal of leading in every market in which we compete.”

In December, Nucor announced that it expects to close out fiscal 2018 with net earnings of $7.25 to $7.30 per diluted share, which would be a new annual record for Nucor and a 22% spike over the previous record earnings of $5.98 per diluted share reported a decade ago.

In the second quarter, Nucor booked its highest quarterly profits in the company’s history at $683 million, which more than doubled the $323 million in the previous year. Nucor followed up that record performance with third quarter profits of nearly $677 million, up from $255 million a year ago.

In the fourth quarter guidance, company officials said the steel giant benefitted from nation’s strong economy throughout 2018 that was positively impacted by tax and regulatory reform implemented by the Trump administration last summer.

Citing U.S. national security interest under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, the U.S. Commerce Department in June imposed a 25% and 10% levy, respectively, on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico, and EU countries after those three trading partners failed to come to terms on tariffs first announced on March 8.

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