MASON COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – A new steel sheet mill is coming to Mason County, W.V., that will bring 800 full-time jobs and 1,000 construction jobs to the area, according to state officials.
Gov. Jim Justice says Nucor Corporation will build a state-of-the-art, three-million-ton sheet mill to the Apple Grove area of Mason County. The mill will go on an approximately 1,300-acre area of land with a second company facility planned to be built in the Northern Panhandle. State lawmakers are calling the project “one of the biggest in recent state history.”
“This is a landmark announcement in the history of our state,” Justice said. “Nucor’s brand new facility is going to be a key part of West Virginia’s DNA long into the future. It’s going to change lives by bringing hundreds of great-paying jobs to Mason County, and the economic ripple effects will bring even more goodness to our state.”
The company said in September that it had approved construction and was evaluating locations in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio to choose an area that would be best geographically suited to serve Midwest and Northeast customers while having a lower carbon footprint. When constructed, that sheet mill is expected to cost around $2.7 billion and will have the capacity to produce three million tons of steel each year.
“I sincerely thank Nucor for their commitment to West Virginia and for allowing us to showcase our ability to compete with other states for major manufacturing facilities like this. It took a team of people to pull it off, and I am immensely proud of all those involved,” Justice said.
The West Virginia Legislature was called into special session Monday to lay out some framework for this project, including tax incentives and how to move some money around for the development. The bill, also known as the West Virginia Industrial Advancement Act, passed the Senate on Monday and the House of Delegates on Tuesday before moving to the governor’s office for final approval.
Nucor Corporation, a Fortune 150 company, is the largest steel producer in the United States. The company is based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Justice says the company “produces steel by recycling scrap metal in electric arc furnaces.” According to the governor’s office, this process makes Nucor the largest recycler of any material in North America, making the company one of the cleanest steel producers in the world.
The approximately 3 million tons of sheet steel per year the mill will produce will be used for the automotive, appliance, HVAC, heavy equipment, agricultural, transportation and construction markets. Nucor says the facility will also have advanced downstream processing capabilities that include a tandem cold mill, annealing capabilities and, initially, two galvanizing zones.
“We are incredibly excited to be building this new steel mill in West Virginia. This will be the world’s most advanced sheet still mill, producing the most sustainable steel that will build our nation’s modern 21st-century economy,” said Leon Topalian, President and CEO of Nucor Corporation. “This is a transformational project that will have a significant economic impact in Mason County and surrounding areas. We look forward to being part of the community for decades to come.”
This afternoon in Point Pleasant, Nucor also donated $1 million to Mason County Schools.
“Today’s announcement is a wonderful way to start the New Year and truly shows that when you put politics aside and come together in a bipartisan way, great things happen. Nucor will be making Mason County the new home of their state-of-the-art steel mill that will employ West Virginians in good-paying, long-term jobs,” said U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV). “And Nucor is committed to investing time and resources into our state, communities and their workers. The significant investments made through the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act have made West Virginia an even more attractive location to organizations like Nucor and as a result, we will continue to attract exciting economic development investments of this magnitude that are transformative for the region and our people.”
“This is a great day for West Virginia, and I applaud Governor Justice for his steadfast commitment to putting this state on a ‘rocket ship ride’ beyond belief,” West Virginia State Treasurer Riley Moore said. “I truly believe this is a historic turning point for West Virginia’s economy and the culmination of years of work to reform and improve our state’s business climate.
Nucor says they expect the facility in Mason County to be operational by 2024 with construction expected to take approximately two years, pending permit and regulatory approvals. They are also considering constructing a transloading and processing center in the northern part of the state “in order to create a broader logistics network” that will allow them to better serve customers in the upper Midwest and Northeast.
“We thank Governor Jim Justice, Secretary Mitch Carmichael and the West Virginia Department of Economic Development, Speaker of the House of Delegates Roger Hanshaw, Senate President Craig Blair, and local officials in Mason County for their partnership and support of this project,” said John Farris, vice President and General Manager of Nucor Steel West Virginia. “We look forward to breaking ground in Mason County and partnering with colleges and universities on workforce development programs, supporting veterans’ organizations and local food pantries and working with opioid recovery programs that will provide meaningful pathways to jobs.”
According to the WV Legislature, West Virginia University Economics expert John Deskins prepared an impact study on the proposed project forecasting a $25 billion economic impact with potential for as many as 5,000 new downstream jobs in the state from this project.
“One of the ways we can make West Virginia a more attractive place for businesses to grow and thrive is by making sure we have the tools needed to compete with the economic incentives other states across the country are offering,” said U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). “Today’s announcement that Nucor will be establishing roots in Mason County is proof that West Virginia can deliver this type of environment. At the federal level, we stepped forward and delivered a bipartisan infrastructure package, which is now law, that will help address our nation’s core infrastructure challenges. But, materials are needed to deliver these solutions. Nucor’s investment means we will not only be able to manufacture these needed materials, but we will also be able to manufacture them right here in West Virginia.”
“We are proud that Nucor has chosen West Virginia for this major investment,” said Rep. David McKinley (R-WV). “This is exciting news for Mason County and the entire state, and the jobs associated with the plant will provide opportunities for thousands of West Virginians. Good roads, access to water and sewer, and a reliable and fast internet connection are all important factors when companies choose a location. That is why prioritizing our state’s infrastructure is essential and will pay off with long-term investments like the one Nucor is making.”