OSCEOLA, AR (KAIT) - Big River Steel announced Friday it successfully began processing steel this week.
According to a news release from the company, the mill near Osceola began processing steel with the commissioning of its batch anneal furnaces and skin pass mill.
It is the first step in a phased start-up for bringing the equipment online, which is expected to last throughout the year.
"The successful start-up or two of our operating units, less than 20 months after forming our company and breaking ground on our project, is yet another significant accomplishment for Big River Steel and our employees," said Dave Stickler, chief executive officer.
The batch anneal operation and skin pass mill are part of Big River Steel's finishing mill where steel undergoes intense processing to meet customers' demands.
When fully operational, the $1.3 billion steel mill will produce 1.6 million tons of niche and specialty steels.
Big River Steel is currently in the process of hiring 425 employees to run its operations. The average annual salary is expected to be more than $75,000.
According to the news release, it is the single largest private investment in the history of Arkansas.
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