Dome collapse hurts Nucor’s 2013 earnings

The collapse of a storage dome at Nucor Steel’s St. James Parish mill chopped $14 million, or 3 cents per share, out of the Charlotte, N.C.-based company’s 2013 earnings.

The storage dome collapsed on Sept. 25, which delayed production at the direct reduced iron plant until late December, Nucor reported Tuesday. Nucor had planned to begin operations in late September.

Nucor’s 2013 earnings were $488 million, or $1.52 per share, compared to $504.6 million, or $1.58 per share, a year earlier.

The Convent plant uses natural gas to make high-purity pellets from iron ore. Nucor mixes the pellets with scrap metal to make steel. The plant will employ 150 people.

The direct reduced iron plant is the first of several phases planned for a multibillion-dollar complex that could employ 1,250 people and produce millions of tons of steel each year.