Report: Uncertainty Surrounds Arkansas Steel Mill Plan

Mar 21, 2013

Consultants hired by the Arkansas Legislature say economic development officials overestimated the long term benefits of a proposal to finance a proposed $1.1 billion steel mill and didn't consider uncertainties surrounding the project.  

The Legislature on Thursday released a summary of the report by IHS Global Insight. The company was hired to look at the cost and benefits of the proposed Big River Steel project.  

Gov. Mike Beebe has asked lawmakers to approve a $125 million financing plan for the mill. 

IHS said the steel industry can absorb the addition of the mill, but Big River may not be able to meet its production goals if another major facility opens.  

State economic development officials note that the proposal includes provisions to recover costs if the mill doesn't meet performance goals.