Nucor to close St. James plant until prices improve
BATON ROUGE - Steelmaker Nucor announced they will close their St. James Parish plant because of sagging market prices for their products, and not reopen until prices improve.
Nucor announced the closure during its fourth quarter earnings report Wednesday.
It came alongside news to shareholders that the steel company's earnings will drastically drop in the last quarter of the year, falling to 15-20 cents per diluted share. The company posted a 65 cent per diluted share earning in the fourth quarter of 2014, and 71 cents per diluted share in the third quarter of 2015.
The company said prices for their products have fallen faster than the price of raw materials, shrinking their margins. Nucor said in their earnings statement the fall was due to "continued deterioration in global steel markets amplified by global excess capacity and historically high import levels."
The plant was announced in 2010 by Governor Bobby Jindal as a multi-year project which could create 1,250 new jobs as well as $3.4 billion in capital investment. At the time Jindal said his administration had worked with Nucor for years to land the plant project, offering a $160 million incentives package designed to stretch over six years.
The company released a statement which said they were not planning to lay people off, and they would continue to work so the plant would be in a position to reopen quickly if the raw materials market improves.