Bulldozers are clearing a 3,500-acre forest beside the Tombigbee River in southwest Alabama. It won’t be a vast empty lot for long as construction begins next year on the $3.7 billion ThyssenKrupp steel mill.
Top executives from the German firm, Gov. Bob Riley and more than 700 state and local officials attended Friday’s groundbreaking for the massive project off U.S. 43.
“We will be in Alabama for decades to come, providing good jobs for many generations,” ThyssenKrupp AG Chairman Dr. Ekkehard D. Schulz said before a high school band struck up “Sweet Home Alabama.”
The company’s new plant in Brazil, set to start production in 2009, will ship its steel slabs to the Alabama plant, which will produce 5.1 million metric tons of steel products.