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State Picked As Site For Major New Industry

February 3, 1987

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) _ A U.S.-Japanese consortium has chosen one of the highest unemployment areas in economically depressed Arkansas for a $175 million steelmaking plant, Gov. Bill Clinton said Tuesday.

He said final approval for the project, which will employ 600 workers, still depends on whether the legislature will enact a package of tax breaks and other special treatment for the investing group.

″I have not talked to anybody who think we shouldn’t do this, because of the economic impact,″ he said.

The governor said he and officials of the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission had been working to put the deal together since October 1985, when Clinton signed an agreement of cooperation between the state and Industrial Bank of Japan.

The plant, a joint venture between Nucor Corp. of Charlotte, N.C., and Yamato Kogyo Co. of Japan, would be built in Mississippi County, where the unemployment rate is 16 percent. Arkansas has been especially hurt by recessions in agriculture and the energy industry.

Clinton said the consortium considered sites in several states before narrowing the selection process to Arkansas, Mississippi and Missouri.

The field eventually was narrowed to two sites in Mississippi and Phillips counties in Arkansas, Clinton said, before officials chose the northernmost location, an 846-acre site on the Mississippi River.

The plant will be financed through taxable revenue bonds, Clinton said. Nucor, which will manage the plant, expects to begin construction immediately if lawmakers approve Clinton’s legislative package. Production could begin late next year.

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