Nucor plans to build a $164 million tube mill in Gallatin County

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Nucor Steel Mill in Gallatin County logo

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Nucor Tubular Products, a division of steel products manufacturer Nucor Corp., plans to build a $164 million tube mill and create 72 full-time jobs in Gallatin County.

Once operational, the 396,000-square-foot tube mill will provide capacity to produce 250,000 tons of steel tubing annually, including hollow structural section tubing, mechanical steel tubing and galvanized solar torque tubing.

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These products will serve the construction, infrastructure and renewable energy industries.

The locating near Ghent, Kentucky, will position the new tube mill near expanding solar markets in the U.S. and the largest consuming regions for hollow structural sections tubing. Company leaders expect construction to begin this summer, with completion currently slated for mid-year 2023.

With this investment, Nucor will add to its already significant presence in Gallatin County. The company recently completed Phase 1 of a massive, $826 million expansion project at its Nucor Steel Gallatin mill near Ghent, Kentucky.

That mill, which produces flat-rolled steel coils, is now in the middle of Phase 2. In total, the Gallatin steel mill expansions are creating 145 full-time jobs.

The company is growing elsewhere in Kentucky as well. In October 2020, Gov. Andy Beshear and Nucor officials celebrated the groundbreaking of the company’s 400-job, $1.7 billion steel plate manufacturing mill in Meade County, a 1.5-million-square-foot operation expected to open in 2022.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Nucor is North America’s largest recycler and the nation’s largest steel and steel products producer. The company employs over 26,000 people at more than 300 facilities, primarily located in North America.

In Kentucky, Nucor and its affiliates employ approximately 2,000 people at numerous facilities, including Nucor Steel Gallatin, Nucor Tubular Products Louisville, Harris Rebar and a 50% ownership stake in Steel Technologies.

Nucor also owns the David J. Joseph Co. and its multiple recycling facilities across the state doing business as Rivers Metals Recycling that collect and recycle scrap metal.

Nucor’s Tubular Products (NTP) Group was formed in 2016 when Nucor entered the tube market with the acquisitions of Southland Tube, Independence Tube Corp. and Republic Conduit. Today, NTP consists of eight tubular facilities strategically located near Nucor’s sheet mills, as they are consumers of hot-rolled coil.

The NTP Group produces HSS steel tubing, mechanical steel tubing, piling, sprinkler pipe, galvanized tube, heat-treated tubing and electrical conduit. Total annual NTP capacity is approximately 1.365 million tons.

Nucor’s facilities are part of Kentucky’s robust primary metals industry, which encompasses more than 220 facilities employing roughly 26,000 people. The industry includes producers and downstream processors of steel, stainless steel, iron, aluminum, copper and brass.

To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) on Thursday preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $2.25 million in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $164 million and annual targets of:

  • Creation and maintenance of 72 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years; and
  • Paying an average hourly wage of $45.50 including benefits across those jobs.

Additionally, KEDFA approved Nucor for up to $800,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.

By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.

In addition, Nucor can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives.