Among LED Secretary Stephen Moret’s predictions Tuesday at the Business Report Leadership Power Breakfast was that Louisiana in 2009 finally will get to use some or all of the $347 million in megafund money that’s been burning a hole in its pocket. The so-called Louisiana Mega-Project Development Fund, created as incentive money to help lure big manufacturing facilities to the state, had its genesis in Louisiana’s unsuccessful attempt to convince ThyssenKrupp to build a $3.7 billion steel plant here. But things are changing. “In 2009, we will make use of the state’s Mega-Projects Development Fund for the very first time, and for the second time, and possibly for the third time,” Moret says.
Louisiana is in the running for five major projects eligible for megafunding. One of those companies, Nucor Corporation, is considering a $2 billion pig iron mill in St. James Parish. Pig iron is a crude form of iron that’s refined into steel, wrought iron or ingots. Nucor is expected to make a decision in the next few months on building the plant in St. James Parish or Brazil. Another Moret prediction for 2009 was that the state would draw more corporate headquarters jobs to Louisiana, building on last year’s success with Albemarle, Bercen Inc., Horizon Entertainment, Shaw Group and others.—Steve Clark