Kentucky steel producer announces more expansion plans

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear

(The Center Square) – A steel producer is expanding once again in Kentucky, as Gov. Andy Beshear announced Thursday that Nucor Corp. plans to spend $164 million to build a tube mill in the north central part of the state. 

The nearly 400,000-square-foot facility will be built in Ghent, which is nearly halfway between Louisville and Cincinnati. Construction is slated to start this summer and expected to take about two years. 

The announcement comes less than five months after the company started work on a $1.7 billion steel mill in Brandenburg, 35 miles southwest of Louisville. That 1.5-million-square-foot facility, slated to open next year, will create 400 jobs. 

In Ghent, Nucor officials plan to hire 72 full-time workers at an average salary of more than $70,000. 

“Nucor continues making a tremendous impact in our state, serving as both a great corporate citizen and a committed partner in providing meaningful opportunities for Kentuckians,” Beshear said in a statement. 

Nucor already has a facility that creates flat-rolled steel coils near Ghent. In all, the company employs about 2,000 people across the state. 

“We are excited to continue to expand our business in the state of Kentucky,” said Nucor Corp. President and CEO Leon Topalian. “With our recent investments to expand capacity at Nucor Steel Gallatin and add a galvanizing line, our Gallatin campus is an ideal location to build our new tube mill.”  

Gallatin County Judge/Executive Jon Ryan Morris said he was excited that one of the county’s largest employers was growing again. 

“In addition to the quality careers the company offers our residents, Nucor’s support for our first responders and schools is second to none,” Morris said. “Our community is better because Nucor is here, and we certainly remain committed to supporting them and all our existing businesses here in Gallatin County.” 

On Thursday, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority gave preliminary approval for nearly $2.3 million in tax incentives over a 10-year period. The incentives are contingent on Nucor hitting investment and job goals. 

KEDFA also approved another $800,000 in incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act. The company can recoup state sales and use taxes on construction costs, building fixtures and equipment used in research and development as well as electronic processing.