Nucor Corp. said Thursday that it has purchase contracts in place for most of the major equipment for its St. James Parish iron plant where construction is under way.

Most of the equipment will begin arriving next year and keep the $750 million plant on track to start operations in mid-2013.

The plant’s management team is also largely in place, the company said.

The announcement was included in Nucor’s second-quarter earnings report.

If the Charlotte, N.C., steelmaker carries out all of its plans for St. James Parish, Nucor will end up investing more than $3 billion in the facility over five phases of construction.

Total employment would reach 1,250 people by 2019.

Nucor reported a profit of $299.8 million, or 94 cents per share, for the quarter, compared to $159.8 million, or 50 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company said it managed to achieve those results despite the impact of the Japanese tsunami and earthquakes on customers in the manufacturing and auto industries and lost sales from weather-related power outages and river flooding in North America.

The company was helped by higher steel prices, which were 21 percent higher per ton than in the second quarter of 2010.

Revenue rose to $5.11 billion from $4.2 billion in the second quarter of 2010.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet had predicted earnings of 82 cents per share on revenue of $5.13 billion.

The company said price increases for steel mill products helped offset higher raw material costs during the quarter asdemand improved from many customers, including auto and heavy equipment manufacturers, energy producers and general manufacturers.

“However, new domestic supply in the sheet market and increases in imports of sheet steel have begun to put significant pressure on prices and margins,” the company said in a statement.

Without changes in market dynamics, “we expect third-quarter results to be lower than (the) second quarter but by how much remains to be seen,” the company said.