Nucor Corp., one of the largest manufacturers of steel and steel products in North America, intends to spend more than $200 million on Berkeley County facilities in the next five years, including a building that supplies industrial gases to the mill’s central operations.
Nucor’s expansion will include the construction of an air separation unit to supply industrial gases to the company’s steelmaking operations at 1455 Old Hagan Ave. in Huger. When complete, the air separation unit will be operated by UIG LLC, a Nucor wholly owned subsidiary that specializes in industrial gas supply and services, Nucor said in a news release.
This project will allow Nucor — through UIG LLC — to produce and supply all the gases needed for the steel mill from the new Nucor-owned facility.
“Nucor acquired UIG LLC in 2019 so that we would have the capability to design, build and operate our own air separation units, giving us an alternative to long-term service contracts with outside providers,” Nucor Steel Berkeley Vice President and General Manager Mike Lee said in the news release. “We are proud of our company’s long-time partnership with the state of South Carolina, and we are excited to continue to invest in the state where Nucor first began operating nearly 60 years ago.”
The expansion is expected to be completed by the end of 2024. The company did not say if the investments will create new jobs but did indicate it continues to hire.
“Nucor Steel has been a critical part of Berkeley County’s successful industrial sector for over 26 years, having invested $1.3 billion since 1996,” Berkeley County Supervisor Johnny Cribb said in the release. “We are proud to announce this investment and see this thriving manufacturer expand operations here at home. Their commitment to our great county is proof of our solid working relationship and their desire to continue building upon our strong local economy.”
With roots dating back to 1905, Nucor manufactures a variety of products including carbon and alloy steel; hollow structural tubing; electrical conduit; precision castings; and more. The company’s products serve the agriculture, automotive and energy industries among others. Nucor Steel Berkeley produces up to 3.5 million tons of flat-rolled sheet and structural steel per year and employs about 1,000.
The Commerce Department’s Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved a $100,000 Set-Aside grant to Berkeley County to assist with costs related to this project. The company also received a grant from utility provider Santee Cooper.
“Throughout its long history, Nucor has been a leading innovator within the steel industry,” Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III said in the release. “This latest expansion is further proof of the company’s ability to embrace new technologies to grow its operations and achieve greater efficiencies.”