On Wednesday, legislators approved $246 million in financial assistance for Indiana-based Steel Dynamics to construct a state-of-the-art low-carbon, aluminum flat-rolled mill near its Columbus steel mill on Airport Road and a biocarbon production facility on Artesia Road, near the International Paper pulp mill. The company’s planned $2.5 billion project represents the largest capital investment in Mississippi’s history, Gov. Reeves said in a press conference after signing the bill. The two facilities will also create 1,000 jobs with an average annual salary of $93,000.
Anyone living in the Golden Triangle would be daft not to welcome the project with unbridled enthusiasm, even though the state has a checkered past when structuring incentive packages to lure economic development.
KiOR, Yokohama, Kemper, Continental Tire and others have either overpromised or underperformed. Some simply failed.
We believe this project is worthy of public confidence for two primary reasons, though.
First, from the moment Indiana-based Steel Dynamics purchased the Severstal steel mill in 2014, it has delivered on its promises, not only when it arrived but through multiple major expansions. In each case, the company has done what it said it would do and done it on schedule. It has not overpromised; it has overperformed.
The quality of job SDI provides has given hundreds of families stable, healthy incomes. In addition to high average salaries at their existing Lowndes County steel mill, SDI provides other benefits such as helping pay for the college education of their employees’ children.
The company’s presence has simply been transformative for the region.
Second, so complicated a deal — the collection of 2,000 acres of land, the planning of infrastructure buildout, the coordination of many public and private entities — again illustrates the ability of the Golden Triangle Development LINK to put together complex economic development projects where every “I” is dotted and every “T” crossed. As it is with Steel Dynamics, The LINK has yet again proven its chops.
Given those assurances, our community can embrace the most transformational project the Golden Triangle has ever seen without reservation.
It’s a great day for our community.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.
You can help your community
Quality, in-depth journalism is essential to a healthy community. The Dispatch brings you the most complete reporting and insightful commentary in the Golden Triangle, but we need your help to continue our efforts. Please consider subscribing to our website for only $2.30 per week to help support local journalism and our community.