Incentive plan moves quickly at Legislature

Published 3:41 pm Friday, June 27, 2008

State lawmakers have approved incentives to help EcoSteel Recycling LLC bring a steel rebar minimill and at least 150 jobs to northeast Mississippi.

The mill will use recycled steel to make rebar, a steel reinforcing product used in most major concrete projects, especially bridge and highway construction.

The company’s target market will be the Hurricane Katrina rebuilding effort and other construction, especially highway and bridges, within a 350 mile radius of Amory.

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The House and Senate passed a bill Thursday that would let the city of Amory issue $5 million in bonds to help the company develop an 80-acre city-owned site in the Waterway Industrial Park. The business would repay the money.

Officials say the state will not spend any money in the deal.

Gov. Haley Barbour put the bill on a special session agenda Thursday at the request of Amory lawmakers.

Barbour spokesman Pete Smith said the business will create at least 150 jobs with an average salary of $50,000. Smith said the business will invest $175 million in its facilities.

The company has applied for environmental permits. The mill will consume about 330,000 tons of scrap steel a year, converting it into 300,000 tons of rebar.

EcoSteel Recycling’s chief executive, Louis Colatriano, said the plant will recycle items such as cars, refrigerators and other appliances. Scrap steel will come to the plant by railroad, barge and truck. The finished rebar product will move primarily by truck and rail.

Colatriano said construction should begin by the end of the year and take 18 months to complete.

The bill is House Bill 19.