Dignitaries Break Ground for Mississippi Steel Mill Once Planned for Osceola

OCTOBER 28, 2005 - Posted at 7:39 a.m. CDT

COLUMBUS, MS - State and Lowndes County dignitaries were on hand yesterday for the official groundbreaking for an $880 million steel mill in north Mississippi.

The mill is being built by SeverCorr, a start-up company led by a long-time steel industry executive who played a pivotal role in bring both Nucor-Yamato and Nucor Steel to Blytheville, Arkansas in the late 1980s and early 90s.

The groundbreaking comes almost a year to the day since SeverCorr's founders pulled out of a deal to build the company's plant in Osceola.

SeverCorr President John Correnti and local officials were joined at the groundbreaking by Governor Haley Barbour and the senior vice president for economic development of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

The mill will employ about 450 workers who can earn up to $70,000 in salary and production bonuses.  It's scheduled to open in 2007.

It will produce high-grade steel for the automotive industry.  The site is near Columbus and is within a day's drive of a dozen auto manufacturing sites in the South, including the Nissan plant in Mississippi and Hyundai and Mercedez-Benz plants in Alabama.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)