Nucor says St. James plant on schedule

Nucor Corp. reported Tuesday that construction is going well on its 2.5-million-ton direct-reduced iron facility in St. James Parish.

The update was part of the Charlotte, N.C.-based company’s fourth-quarter and annual earnings report.

Nucor said the majority of the plant’s equipment arrived in 2012 and remains on schedule for startup in mid-2013. The $750 million reduced iron plant is the first phase of a proposed $3.4 billion steel complex. Once all the phases are completed, Nucor’s St. James site would employ 1,250 people and produce millions of tons of steel each year.

The steelmaker reported net earnings of $504.6 million, or $1.58 per share, for the full year 2012, down from $778.2 million, or $2.45 per share, for the full year 2011.