West Virginia EDA approves resolutions for Nucor, Century Aluminum site projects

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Economic Development Authority approved a resolution Thursday completing a major part of the incentive package that enabled the state to attract Nucor Steel to construct a $2.7 billion plant in Mason County.

Rick Handley

The resolution authorizes the WVEDA to take title of the 1,200-acre Mason County property and lease it back to Nucor, relieving the company of traditional property taxes.

Instead of those taxes, Nucor has agreed to give a $1 million a year contribution to the Mason County Board of Education and it’s struck a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreement with the Mason County Commission.

Under the PILOT, Nucor will pay the commission $30,000 a year during the first two years of construction. The payment increases to $1 million a year when production begins and will increase to $1.5 million a year when the plant investment reaches $4.5 billion.

Mason County Commission Rick Handley told MetroNews Thursday it has no problem with exchanging traditional property taxes with the agreements reached.

“The economic development as the result of this plant will be much greater,” Handley said. “It’s a great deal for Mason County, a great deal for Nucor. It’s something we’re looking forward to.”

Handley said offering incentives is part of attracting companies to West Virginia.

“How could you turn away at least 900 jobs and the impact it’s going to make?”

The day of the Nucor announcement earlier this year, the company had a ceremony with the Mason County school system handing over its first $1 million donation.

The new sheet mill is expected to cost approximately $2.7 billion and have the capacity to produce three million tons of steel annually. Construction is expected to take two years pending permit and regulatory approvals.

Century Aluminum property

A second resolution approved by the WVEDA at its Thursday meeting deals with the ongoing remediation efforts at the former Century Aluminum plant property in Ravenswood.

Kris Warner

The resolution allows Safeco Environmental, Inc. to continue with remediation work while the EDA negotiates with companies interested in doing the final phase of the remediation.

WVEDA Executive Director Kris Warner told MetroNews the entire remediation of the 2,100-acre site of which the former operation used 370 acres, will ultimately cost about $17 million. Warner said the clean-up will be well worth the cost.

“We’re on the right track right now, 13 months from today, West Virginia is going to be able to make huge things happen at this site,” Warner said.

The flat site is widely considered one of the best economic development sites in the state. Warner said when a developer or developers ultimately agree to build there, “a lot of good jobs will be created.”

The WVEDA has owned the site since 2020. It purchased it from Applied Partners which bought the site from Century Aluminum in 2017.

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