Nucor announced that the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality has issued an air-quality permit for its direct reduced iron-making facility that will be located in St. James Parish. Issuance of the air permit will allow the company to begin the process of ordering equipment and commencing construction immediately. The permit allows for the construction and operation of two plants with a combined annual direct reduced iron (DRI) production of 5.5 million tons. Initially, Nucor will build one DRI plant with plans to expand to a second facility.

The DRI facility is the first phase of a multi-phase plan that may include a coke plant, blast furnace, pellet plant and steel mill. The project's first phase will create 150 permanent Nucor jobs that earn an average annual salary of $75,000, plus benefits. During peak construction, 500 jobs will be directly created. If the additional phases of the project are constructed, Nucor could have a total investment of over $3 billion and increase permanent employment to more than 1,000.