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A roll of hot steel moves from the coil box at Nucor Steel on Tuesday afternoon.
Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.
A roll of hot steel moves from the coil box at Nucor Steel on Tuesday afternoon.

Luring steel customers
Decatur's Nucor plans to
develop industrial park

By Evan Belanger
evanb@decaturdaily.com 340-2442

A local steel company is getting into the industrial-development business.

Rex Query, vice president and general manager of Nucor Steel Decatur, confirmed Tuesday his company would develop a 75- to 90-acre industrial park at its property on Alabama 20 near Mallard Fox Industrial Park.

Query said the park will eventually host a number of the steel giant's customers, bringing new development to the Decatur area and ensuring the local steel mill has a stable customer base in the future.

"The goal is to attract five or six additional companies within the next two years," he said. "We've already had substantial interest from a number of companies to locate here."

No shipping costs

Query would not identify any of the companies looking at the site, saying none had made formal commitments yet. Whichever companies do come, he said, Nucor will still have to earn their business, but the lack of shipping costs will likely be a key factor.

"We already sell to customers off Red Hat Road (inside the industrial park)," he said. "But they can buy from others if they choose to."

Query said the park should be ready to receive industrial customers as early as next year.

That means Nucor will soon begin constructing access roads and running electrical wires and water lines at the site. Sewer service is already available there, Query said.

Query said each new company will be able to purchase between 10 and 20 acres.

Annexation plans

In preparation for the industrial park, the Decatur Planning Commission approved annexing 111 acres of Nucor property during its meeting Tuesday. That decision awaits approval by the City Council.

About 60 acres of Nucor property is already in the city.

Also on Tuesday, the Planning Commission approved Nucor's requests to subdivide 163 acres into eight tracts of varying sizes and vacated a five-acre utility easement.

Those decisions are contingent on the property being annexed.

National producer

As one of the largest steel producers in the United States, Nucor uses electric arc furnaces to melt scrap steel back into a usable product.

Worldwide, it employs nearly 12,000 people and recycles more than one ton of steel every second, according to the company's Web site.

In April, the Business Council of Alabama and the Alabama Technology Network awarded Nucor the state's Manufacturer of the Year Award for high production numbers and large capital improvements.

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