Davis Index: Market Intelligence for the Global Metals and Recycled Materials Markets

Nucor Steel is considering a $300mn expansion of its Berkeley steel operations in Huger, South Carolina near Charleston, in keeping with a tax incentive agreement with the county, that has approved tax breaks for the expansion. 


The steelmaker has considered three potential locations that include its Huger property on the Cooper River but did not identify the other potential sites. The company has comparable plants in Kentucky, Arkansas, Indiana, and Alabama.


The company hasn’t shared information beyond its consideration of the expansion project at the Berkeley County mill, while also taking into account two other Nucor locations but, “several factors are still being examined before a final decision is made,” Katherine Miller, director of public affairs and corporate communications for Nucor, told Davis Index.


Nucor’s property tax rate would be decreased from the customary 10.5pc industrial rate to 6pc under the agreement once it undertakes these expansion plans. The company would also get a refund of about one-third of those tax payments.


Of the total investment, approximately $40mn will be disbursed on property and building construction, and $260mn on equipment, according to county documents. The plan would also create a minimum of 50 full-time jobs over the next five years.


Nucor reported net earnings of $1.3bn in 2019, decreased from $2.4bn in 2018. The company’s net sales were $22.6bn in 2019, a 10pc decrease.


The company expanded in Huger in 1995, making flat-rolled coil used in steel beams for construction and other products. The plant has been upgraded previously, including a $135mn expansion in 2013 to produce thinner, wider, and better grade steel types.


On the topic of expansion, Nucor is looking to fill positions this week in Frostproof, Florida for its new rebar micro mill currently being constructed in Polk county. The plant will use ferrous metal scrap and recycle it into rebar through electric furnaces. The steelmaker plans to produce as much as 350,000nt (318,000mt) of the material per year. This investment is valued at $240mn and was first announced March 12, 2018.

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