In what Alabama state officials are calling a history-making project, German steel manufacturer ThyssenKrupp AG will build a $4.2 billion steel plant near Mount Vernon, Alabama, on the Tombigbee River in northern Mobile County. Set to open in 2010, the facility is expected to create up to 2,700 direct jobs, with ThyssenKrupp projecting as many as 38,000 indirect positions, from suppliers and transportation to dining and entertainment.
The state of Alabama offered tax breaks and a $400 million incentives package that was approved by the Alabama Legislature in luring ThyssenKrupp, which chose the Alabama location over one in Louisiana. Bob Soulliere, the company's president and CEO, cited "logistical considerations of the company's supply chain from Brazil to our projected customers, operating costs such as electricity and labor, and site-specific capital expenditures" as factors in choosing Alabama.
The company's initial investment was planned for $2.9 billion, but company officials cited plans for "higher capacities and extended plant configurations" in raising the amount. At full production, the plant will have an annual capacity of 4.1 million metric tons of carbon steel end products.