Benteler Steel/Tube has officially broken ground on the first phase of its $975-million project at the Port of Shreveport/Bossier.  

Governor Jindal joined other state and local officials as well as Benteler executives for the ceremonial dirt-turning.  In reality, site clearing is already well underway on the 330 acre site that will house a hot-rolling seamless steel tube facility and, a few years later, a steel mill.  The tube plant is projected to open on August 1, 2015 and the steel mill in 2020.

Benteler says, when completed, the two-phase project will provide 675 new direct jobs with average salaries of $50,000 plus benefits.  In addition, an LSU sudy predicts the plant will create an additional 1540 indirect jobs.  Plus, the project is anticipated to provide about 1000 construction jobs.  LSU also projects that the Benteler complex will have a $16-billion economic impact on Northwest Louisiana over the next two decades.

This manufacturing facility will be the German steel maker's first in the United States.  Benteler chose Shreveport after a lengthy, competitive site-selection process that involved more than 100 potential sites in 13 sites.  Company officials say they chose Shreveport because we're in the heart of America's energy corridor and have some of the best workers in the world.