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Steel plant announces $100 million expansion

By JACK WEATHERLY
Steel Dynamics Inc. announced Thursday it will carry out a $100 million expansion of its Columbus plant, which currently employs 630 and will add 40 more with the addition of a facility for painting and applying a patented galvanizing process.
The plant was acquired from Severstal North America,  Russian corporation, in 2014. The facility produces sheet steel products consisting of hot roll, cold roll, and coated products.
“The Steel Dynamics team could have selected one of its other U.S. locations as the site of its new paint facility, and the company’s decision to further invest in its Columbus operations and create new jobs for the area’s workforce speaks volumes about Mississippi’s supportive business climate,” Gov. Phil Bryant said in a news release from the governor’s office.
The Mississippi Development Authority granted $2.45 million for sewerage and water infrastructure and roads, as well as workforce training valued at $100,000. Also it approved a $1 million loan to Lowndes County for a rail spur.
“I thank SDI for its commitment to the Columbus community and the state of Mississippi,” Bryant said, “and I look forward to watching the company’s continued growth and success in Lowndes County.”
Mark D. Millett, chief executive of Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Steel Dynamics, said operations of the expansion are expected to begin in early 2017.
The investment by the steelmaker is “a strategic step toward further diversification into higher-margin products,” Millett said in a company release.
The company says its sales in 2014 were $8.8 billion. It employs about 7,700 in approximately 100 facilities, including six steel mills, eight steel coating plants, two iron production facilities, more than 90 recycling plants and six steel fabrication plants.
The company reported net income for the first quarter of $30.76 million, or 13 cents per share, compared with $40.9 million, or 17 cents per share, a year earlier.
Its shares closed Thursday at $21.18, down 16 cents on the Nasdaq GS stock market.

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