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Ark. House OKs Big River Steel funding

Keywords: Tags  Arkansas House, John Correnti, Osceola, Big River Steel, steel, steel mill, Nucor, Catherine Ngai

NEW YORK — Big River Steel LLC’s proposed steel mill in Arkansas took one step forward Monday after the state’s House passed a bill that would offer key incentives to the $1.1-billion project.

The overwhelming 78-to-17 vote for the bill, which would offer $125 million in bonds for funding to the company, underscores the widespread political support the project has in the state.

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe "absolutely" backs the project and would sign the bill into law, a spokesman for the governor’s office said.

The Arkansas Senate has already passed its version of the bill (, April 3), but the Senate and House versions must be reconciled before they reach the governor’s desk.

Big River Steel, led by industry veteran John D. Correnti, plans a 1.7-million-ton-per-year mill in Osceola, Ark., which is slated to become operational by 2016. Construction of the mill is contingent on the state issuing general-obligation bonds.

Charlotte, N.C.-based competitor Nucor Corp. has pushed back against the project (, March 18), citing overcapacity in the steel market, among other concerns.

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