HOT STUFF: Steelmaker repays state loan early. Big River Steel

Big River Steel, the mill in Mississippi County, has paid off a $50 million state loan 17 years early, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission proudly announced today.

The repayment was possible because the operationg has completed a $1.2 million billion refinancing package.


Said the release:

Big River Steel was the state’s first ever Amendment 82 project and is the single largest private investment in the history of the state of Arkansas. To support Big River’s presence, the company invested $10 million with Arkansas Northeastern College for training programs to prepare applicants for the mill’s 425 positions with average compensation of $75,000. Since announcing their location three years ago, the mill has also helped attract to Arkansas an additional $300 million in investments and another 100 jobs from suppliers and support services of Big River.

“The early repayment of this $50 million loan is a strong indication of the financial strength of Big River Steel and reaffirms my confidence in the state’s investment through Amendment 82,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson. “Not only has Big River paid off the loan early, but the company has strengthened our economy with hundreds of millions of dollars in investment.”

The state has a whale of a lot more sunk in Big River than the $50 million loan, now repaid.
We reported the full list at the time.


The specifics are at the link, but they include a $14 million taxpayer handout from local governments; $75 million paid by the state for infrastructure and other costs; $10 million for training; and millions in potential sales and income tax rebates and credits.

Retired teachers, thanks to their retirement system, also have some $125 million in an equity investment in the plant, money paid by the state into the retirement fund and invested to pay pensions.