KINGMAN, Ariz. (AP) -- A steel bar plant outside Kingman is set to restart after being idled for six years.
Nucor Corp.'s plant can produce as much as 500,000 tons per year of reinforcing rods known as rebar. The Charlotte, N.C., company said Tuesday it plans to restart the facility by mid-2009 with an initial production target of 250,000 tons per year.
Nucor expects to spend about $30 million to restart production. It bought the plant in 2003 from North Star Steel for about $35 million but it has been shuttered due to high electric costs.
"We've been a good four years working on this," said Mohave County Supervisor Buster Johnson. "We're still going to have to work on options for electricity but steel costs have made it workable for them."
Nucor also cited growing demand in the Southwest for the decision to resume production.
"Startup of our low-cost rolling mill in Arizona is an exciting growth project in the very attractive southwestern U.S. market for rebar and wire rod," Nucor Chairman, CEO and President Dan DiMicco said in a statement. "Nucor Steel Kingman, LLC will build upon Nucor's position as North America's largest rebar producer."
The company did not say how many jobs the plant's reopening would create; however, Johnson said that any new jobs are good news.
"It's good jobs, and it's getting them started again," he said.
North Star Steel shut the plant in 2002 after being heavily fined for violating its state-issued pollution permit.
As part of settlement agreement with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, the company paid a $5 million civil penalty and $2.75 million to a Mohave County fund that pays to pave dirt roads in the Golden Valley area to control dust.
The company also pleaded guilty to two criminal felony counts stemming from the pollution violations and paid a $3.2 million criminal penalty.
At the time they were levied, the civil and criminal penalties were the largest ever assessed by Arizona regulators for air quality violations.