Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. successfully completed the acquisition of AK Steel Holding Corp., integrating North America’s largest producer of iron-ore pellets downstream into the production of value-added steel and specialty manufactured parts for the automotive industry. The combined company will be led by Chairman, President and CEO Lourenco Goncalves. It combines mining, pelletizing, direct-reduction, EAF steelmaking, BF/BOF steelmaking, highly technologically developed finishing mills and automated manufacturing of auto parts.
Chicago-based Larson Forgings, a manufacturer of open-die and rolled-ring forgings, is celebrating its 125th anniversary. The company was founded in 1895 by Charles E. Larson, who began hammering out horseshoes and small tools from his blacksmith shop near the Chicago River. Today, Larson Forgings is a global industry resource.
Saarstahl AG successfully commissioned a new five-strand billet caster at its steel plant in Völklingen, Germany. The caster, supplied by SMS Concast, a member of SMS group, is designed for a nominal annual production of 850,000 tons and the casting of 180-mm-square billets. According to SMS Concast, the casting machine at Saarstahl is the first caster in the world designed with mechanical soft reduction (MSR) technology for a billet cross section of 180 mm (7 inches) square. It produces billets in a wide range of steel grades, including bearing steel, spring steel, cold-heading and free-cutting steels.
United States Steel Corp. plans to reduce greenhouse-gas-emissions intensity across its global footprint by 20%, as measured by the rate of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalents emitted per ton of finished steel shipped, by 2030 based on 2018 baseline levels. This target will apply to U.S. Steel’s global operations. The company plans to achieve this goal through multiple initiatives, including the development of electric-arc furnace (EAF) steelmaking at its Fairfield Works and at Big River Steel, in which U.S. Steel recently acquired a minority interest with an option to acquire the remainder over the next four years.
China’s AVIC Shaanxi Hongyuan Aviation Forging Co. Ltd. put what it says is the world's largest clutch-operated screw press into operation at its site in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province. The SPKA-type clutch-operated screw press, which was supplied by SMS group, has a screw diameter of 1,330 millimeters (52 inches), a blow force of 365 MN, a gross power of 27,000 kJ and a weight of 2,900 tons. It offers flexibility when it comes to optimizing the forging process and requires far less stroke to achieve the preset ram speed than a conventional slipping-wheel screw press. This type of press is particularly suited for high-energy forging typically used for turbine blades or structural aircraft components.
Nucor Corp. selected SMS group for the supply of a single-strand continuous caster for ultra-wide and thick slabs. Designed for an annual capacity of 1.45 million tons, it will be a core element of the production chain of Nucor’s new plate mill in Brandenburg, Ky. The companies say the casting machine will be one of the largest of its kind worldwide. The caster will produce slabs 8-12 inches (200-305 mm) thick up to 124 inches (3,150 mm) wide. Slab lengths will vary from 104 to 600 inches (2,642 to 15,240 mm).
United States Steel Corp. announced a joint-venture partnership agreement under which it has taken the first step toward acquiring Big River Steel through the purchase of a 49.9% ownership interest for approximately $700 million in cash, with a call option to acquire the remaining 50.1% within the next four years. U.S. Steel has committed financing to execute the transaction. Big River Steel operates an LEED-certified, Flex Mill in northeast Arkansas that is, according to the company, the most advanced EAF-based flat-rolled mill in North America. Big River Steel produces advanced automotive steels and electrical steels and provides services to customers in the automotive, energy, construction and agricultural industries. The company’s recently announced Phase II-A expansion is expected to double the mill’s hot-rolled steel production capacity to 3.3 million tons annually.
Steel Dynamics Inc. awarded SMS group an order covering the supply of a complete steel production line for its new mill in Sinton, Texas. Germany’s SMS group will supply two direct-current electric-arc furnaces (DC-EAF) having a capacity of 190 tons each, two twin-ladle furnaces and a double vacuum tank degasser. The line, which is scheduled to be commissioned in mid-2021, will enable SDI to produce thin slabs with thicknesses of up to 5.2 inches (130 mm) and slab widths of up to 84 inches (2,134 mm). SMS group will also supply electrical and automation systems as well as technical support during installation and commissioning, which is scheduled for mid-2021.
Indiana Wheel Corp. (IWC), a manufacturing company specializing in the production and distribution of steel wheels, plans to establish operations in Plymouth, Ind., and create up to 117 new jobs over the next few years. The company, which is a joint venture led by China’s Jingu Company Ltd., will invest approximately $23 million to purchase, renovate and equip a 300,000-square-foot production facility in Plymouth. The plant will include more than $14.5 million of specially designed equipment to support IWC’s manufacturing operations for the trailer and RV industries. Upgrades will begin this summer with production expected to start later this year.