Nucor Corp. has written off $84.1 million worth of engineering and equipment for a proposed $1 billion blast furnace in St. James Parish, but the company may still build one.
The blast furnace was part of a massive, multiphase $3.4 billion steel complex Nucor hoped to build in St. James. The state had promised the company $160 million in incentives if all the phases were built.
Nucor already has built the first phase of the project: a $750 million, direct reduced iron plant in St. James that employs 170 people.
But the uncertain commodities market hampered those plans, and Nucor missed a year-end deadline to give the state its final investment decision on the complex.
“While we did not move forward with those plans, a potential blast furnace, DRI facility or steel mill project is not off the table,” spokeswoman Katherine Miller said Thursday.
The proposed blast furnace design included technology that was current at the time, but there have been advances made since then, Miller said. Nucor would incorporate the most current technology available in any future blast furnace project.
“Therefore, we no longer expect to use the previous plans or related equipment,” Miller said.
Nucor will continue to assess all its options in evaluating the best long-term opportunities for the company, Miller said. Nucor will continue working with state officials.
Nucor’s fourth-quarter earnings report included the $84.1 million write-off. The company said it decided during the fourth quarter that the engineering and equipment “will not be utilized in the future” at the St. James site.
Follow Ted Griggs on Twitter, @tedgriggsbr.