Though Louisiana has logged several significant economic development wins in recent weeks, as has been noted by the governor’s office and economic development officials, the state wasn’t so successful in its attempt to land a proposed $1.9 billion next-generation steel mill.
Earlier this week, Indiana-based Steel Dynamics announced it had chosen a site in south Texas near Corpus Christi for the project over Louisiana, which was one of two finalists for the deal.
Neither the company nor state officials disclosed the Louisiana sites that had been under consideration, but sources familiar with the process say SDI was interested in west Ascension Parish and the Lake Charles area.
South Texas appears to have outranked those sites, however, because of its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and steel markets in the Southwest U.S., according to officials in both states.
“Closer proximity to key markets in Mexico and the Southwest U.S. appears to be a factor we could not quite overcome,” LED Secretary Don Pierson says.
The facility is expected to produce some three million tons of flat-rolled steel annually, creating 600 permanent jobs and a total economic output of more than $5.5 billion over seven years.
Pierson says he takes the loss of the project in stride.
“When the logistics favor Louisiana, we know we can be successful,” he says. “In fact, in the very same week as the SDI decision, Louisiana overcame competition against other states—and the company’s home country of Canada—to win the third methanol plant that Methanex will build in Ascension Parish, bringing cumulative investment by Methanex in Louisiana to over $2.5 billion, with thousands of new direct, indirect and construction jobs.”