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.
BlueScope, an Australian steel producer, has approved the expansion of its North Star facility in Delta, Ohio. The company will add an additional 850,000 metric tons per year of steelmaking capacity. The $700 million project is expected to begin in mid-2022 with full ramp-up scheduled for approximately 18 months later. In addition, the expansion has potential future growth of a further 500,000 metric tons per year. According to BlueScope, the expansion offers long-term sustainable earnings growth from a high-quality asset.
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.
Noodle.ai and SMS group announced a partnership to further optimize the world’s first learning steel mill for Arkansas-based Big River Steel. The joint solution was created by implementing Noodle.ai’s learning algorithms into SMS group’s X-Pact MES 4.0. Noodle.ai was able to leverage the existing integration of SMS group’s X-Pact MES 4.0 in the steel mill‘s IT environment and in their SaaS (Software as a Service) applications. The new end solutions digitize applications throughout every stage of the steelmaking process, from the liquid phase all the way to strip finishing.
JSW Steel plans invest approximately $1 billion to ramp up the production capacity at its Vijayanagar plant in Karnataka, India, to 18 million metric tons per year from the current 12 million metric tons per year. A current expansion project, which will raise production at the plant from 12 to 13 million metric tons per year, includes the revamp and capacity upgrade of blast furnace-3 to improve hot metal availability. The company will also modify and enhance the capacity of its melt shop, its flat and long products mills and allied facilities to utilize the additional hot metal output. This project will be complete by March 2020.
ArcelorMittal received European Commission (EC) approval for the sale of several steelmaking assets to Liberty House Group. Assets included within the divestment package are ArcelorMittal Ostrava (Czech Republic), ArcelorMittal Galati (Romania), ArcelorMittal Skopje (Macedonia), ArcelorMittal Piombino (Italy), ArcelorMittal Dudelange (Luxembourg) and several finishing lines at ArcelorMittal Liège (Belgium). According to Liberty House, the acquisition will make the company Europe’s third-largest steel producer. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the first half of 2019.
Big River Steel (BRS) commissioned SMS group with the expansion of its steel plant in Osceola, Ark. SMS group will supply BRS with mechanical equipment and electrical and automation systems. The expansion will increase the plant’s annual output to approximately 3 million tons of steel. After completion, the facility will have two electric-arc furnaces (EAFs) and two twin-ladle furnaces. Installation of an additional gas cleaning system will ensure compliance with environmental regulations.
JSW USA has officially restarted its facility in Mingo Junction, Ohio. After being idle for 3,545 days, it is now a melt and manufacture mill. The reopening of the mill is expected to create 1,000 jobs. The first slab on its electric-arc furnace (EAF) was cast on Dec. 14. Now that the facility will be melting its own steel, JSW USA will be more cost effective and ensure the highest quality for customers. The company is already in the design process to install another EAF at Mingo Junction.
Mukand Sumi Special Steel Ltd. (MSSSL), a joint venture of India’s Mukand Ltd. and Japan’s Sumitomo Corp., placed an order with Germany’s SMS group to supply a modern special-bar-quality (SBQ) rolling mill to produce straight round and hexagon bars, wire rod and bar-in-coils. The new mill will be installed near Hospet in Karnataka, India, adjoining Mukand’s existing steelmaking facilities. MSSSL plans to export specialty steels across the globe from this facility. Commissioning of the new SBQ mill is scheduled for the second quarter of 2020.
Check out the October 2019 issue of FORGE, featuring our cover story that showcases "2019 Buyers Guide. Other features include "Why Forgers Should Invest in Automation", "Flat Tool Cross-Wedge Rolling", and much more.