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Posted: 8/25/2004 2:59:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/26/2004 8:50:38 PM EDT by superdav]
This will probably make AR the leader or at least 2nd in steel production.
Mississippi County will be the nations leading steel producer.

$70,000 a year job anyone?

$700 million mill planned for Mississippi County

Associated Press

BLYTHEVILLE, Ark. - A $700 million steel mill is planned for Mississippi County, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper reported in a copyright story on Saturday.

The newspaper said documents submitted to state and federal officials show the mill, which would employ 450 people, would be headed by the former top executive of North Carolina-based Nucor Corp. and financed in part by billionaire Carl Icahn.

The new company, named SteelCorr Inc., would become the third steel producer in Mississippi County. Former Nucor chief executive officer John Correnti would head the company.

Nucor operates a mill at Hickman on the Mississippi River east of Blytheville, and is a partner with a Japanese company in the Nucor-Yamato mill nearby. Together, the two mills employ about 1,250 people.

The planned SteelCorr mill would be further south, near Osceola, according to a permit application submitted for a 970-acre site on the Mississippi River. Documents project that the mill's workers would receive salaries and bonuses averaging $70,000 a year, with average benefits per employee worth another $25,000 per year.

The Arkansas Department of Economic Development declined comment about the new mill on Friday.

Forbes magazine estimates Icahn's worth at $7.6 billion, amassed largely through investments in such companies as Texaco Inc., USX Corp. and Phillips Petroleum Co.

A document filed with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers describes SteelCorr Inc. as "a producer of steel alloys and related products servicing the automobile industry."

Hino Motors Ltd. of Japan plans a truck-parts plant at Marion and the company is weighing a U.S. truck manufacturing plant that could be located at the site. The new steel mill would also be within reach of auto manufacturing plants in Tennessee and other parts of the Southeast.

Correnti, who has a home at Blytheville, resigned from his Nucor post in 1999 in a dispute with his board over the direction of the company, based at Charlotte, N.C.

He wrote in a letter to Arkansas officials that SteelCorr was "recently formed by a team of executives and managers with a proven record of building and operating some of the most profitable steel mini mills in the world."

He predicted that 2,000 people would be employed during two years of construction and that wages to the construction workers would exceed $30 million.

The letter indicated financing would be completed by Aug. 30 and construction would follow immediately. But approval of the permits from the Corps of Engineers could delay the project a month.
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