Beebe Supports Louisiana's Bid for German Steel Mill that Osceola Lost Out On - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

New Orleans, LA

Beebe Supports Louisiana's Bid for German Steel Mill that Osceola Lost Out On

NEW ORLEANS, LA - There's no public indication of whether Louisiana or Alabama has a better chance of winning a $2.9 billion steel plant that once was sought by Arkansas.  German conglomerate ThyssenKrupp AG said in January that the possibilities had been narrowed to Louisiana and Alabama, and a decision is now expected in May.

A site near Osceola had once been in the running for the mill.

On March 28, Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe wrote the company on behalf of Louisiana.  Beebe said the Louisiana site would "have a very positive impact on Arkansas" because the states rely on commerce, recreation and trade along the Mississippi River.

ThyssenKrupp's plans would make the plant one of the largest economic development projects aimed at the South in recent years.

Most details of the talks have been kept secret since the company eliminated Arkansas from consideration in January, leaving Alabama and Louisiana as finalists.  The plant is expected to employ 2,700 people when it begins producing steel in 2010.  Up to 40,000 construction workers are expected to build the 6.6 million-square-foot facility.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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