OSCEOLA, AR (KAIT) - A company that built a $1.2 billion steel mill near Osceola has given the state of Arkansas the entire amount of a $50 million loan, citing growth in the company and expected growth in the future.
According to a media release from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, Big River Steel presented Gov. Asa Hutchinson with the money 17 years ahead of schedule.
The money was given to help bring the company to Arkansas in 2014. At the time, the company announced plans to build the steel mill on a 1,100-acre site near the Mississippi River with 425 jobs.
The company also invested $10 million with Arkansas Northeastern College to create training programs for employees at the mill. Since 2014, at least $300 million in capital has been invested in the area as well as another 100 supply and support jobs in the area.
In the statement, Gov. Hutchinson said the company has provided a strong economic boost to the region.
"The early repayment of this $50 million loan is a strong indication of the financial strength of Big River Steel and reaffirms my confidence in the state's investment through Amendment 82," Gov. Hutchinson said. "Not only has Big River Steel paid off the loan early, but the company has strengthened our economy with hundreds of millions of dollars in investment."
The company's chief executive officer, Dave Stickler, said the company was able to refinance a majority of its outstanding debts, giving them an opportunity to pay the money back early.
"Big River Steel is extremely proud to be able to repay our state of Arkansas $50 million economic incentive loan 17 years early. Arkansas is a great place to own and operate a business and I look forward to exploring future growth opportunities with Governor Hutchinson," Stickler said.
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