Arkansas is deciding

whether to provide $125

million in state financing to Big River Steel LLC for a $1.1 billion steel

plant in Osceola that would create 525 permanent jobs.  Facing down concerns that the steel market is

not strong enough to absorb the potential increase in supply and threats from

Nucor to shift production away from its Arkansas facility, state officials express

support for the plant.   

The state contribution

would take the form of state general obligation bonds to finance a loan and to

pay some construction costs.  According

to The Bond Buyer (April 2, 2013), “The bonds would be the first authorized

under a state constitutional amendment that allows the state to issue tax-free

debt for large economic development projects.”

Meanwhile, ThyssenKrupp is

exiting Alabama, where its $5 billion steel plant is now for sale.  That plant opened in 2010 and was given $1

billion in incentives.  In October, a

spokesman for the company explained that it would not need to repay those

incentives because it had met its obligations.