March 11, 2005

Ellen Qualls
(804) 786-2211, x2379

Stephanie Shelton
Gerdau Ameristeel
(813) 207-2257
Christie Collins
(804) 371-4074
-Governor Warner announces $5 million investment, 50 new jobs-

RICHMOND - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced that Gerdau Ameristeel will invest $5 million and create 50 new jobs in King George County with the relocation of a Baltimore, Maryland manufacturing plant. Gerdau Ameristeel is one of the largest producers of reinforcing steel in the United States. Virginia successfully competed with the District of Columbia, Maryland, and North Carolina for the project.

“The new rail extension into King George Industrial Park, which was a result of our negotiating process, was a major contributing factor to Virginia’s success in winning the Gerdau Ameristeel project,” said Governor Warner. “Gerdau Ameristeel is a welcome addition that will further diversify the economy of King George County.”

Gerdau Ameristeel is the fourth largest overall steel company and the second largest minimill steel producer in North America. The company has the capacity to manufacture more than 8.4 million tons of mill-finished steel products annually. The company serves customers in the eastern two-thirds of North America. Gerdau Ameristeel's products are generally sold to steel service centers or directly to original equipment manufacturers and are used in a variety of industries including construction, automotive, mining, and cellular and electrical transmission. The company’s steel is found in bridges, highways, stadiums, and commercial and apartment buildings. Gerdau Ameristeel operates 15 electric steel mills in North America (including one 50 percent-owned minimill), 16 scrap recycling facilities and 42 downstream operations (including two 50 percent-owned joint ventures), including a collated nail and welded wire mesh manufacturing facility in New Orleans, La., railroad track spike operations in Lancaster, SC, and Paragould, Ark., and a grinding ball plant in Duluth, Minn.

“King George County’s central location, rail availability and strong workforce made King George County an excellent choice for Gerdau Ameristeel’s new rebar fabrication facility,” said Neal McCullohs, Gerdau Ameristeel’s Vice President of Fabricated Reinforcing Steel Group. “When completed, the shop will have a capacity of 50,000 tons. We will be able to better serve the needs of our customers in the Baltimore area and throughout the mid-Atlantic region.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with King George County and the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance to prepare the state’s proposal and negotiate an incentive package that secured the project for Virginia. Governor Warner approved a $100,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist King George County with the project. The company is eligible to receive rail access funding through the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide training through its Workforce Services Program.

“On behalf of the King George County Board of Supervisors it is my honor to welcome Gerdau Ameristeel to King George County,” said Jim Howard, Chairman of the King George County Board of Supervisors. “Gerdau Ameristeel is one of the world’s leading steel companies and brings international recognition to the region. The County has worked hard to develop this industrial park with rail access and it is indeed satisfying that Gerdau Ameristeel has chosen this location. This project is a perfect fit for our new industrial park and will result in new jobs and opportunities for residents of our community.”


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