Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Ferrous Processing and Trading Company (FPT) for a total enterprise value of approximately $775 million. Based in Detroit, FPT is among the largest processors and distributors of prime ferrous scrap in the United States, representing approximately 15% of the domestic merchant prime scrap market. The company currently processes approximately 3 million tons of scrap per year, approximately half of which is prime grade. FPT operates 22 scrap processing facilities, with approximately 90% of revenues originating from its Midwest locations, primarily in Michigan and Ohio.
Nucor Corp. launched Econiq, a line of net-zero carbon-steel products. Building the green economy and the necessary infrastructure requires clean, advanced steel products. According to Nucor, Econiq is a first of its kind at scale for the U.S. steel industry. General Motors will receive the Econiq net-zero steel beginning in the first quarter of 2022, and it is projected that all steel purchased by GM from Nucor will be net carbon neutral by the end of 2022. The Econiq brand will be available across the complete line of Nucor steelmaking products, and initial quantities will be limited.
Sweden’s Ovako AB will adopt carbon-neutral steel production starting on Jan. 1, 2022. The company’s goal is to achieve zero-carbon emission steel. Beginning in January 2022 and until the goal is met, Ovako will counterbalance the remaining carbon emissions in production through carbon offsets. The steelmaker has reduced carbon emissions significantly through efficient processes, the use of fossil-free electricity and dedicated investments such as conversions to fossil-free fuels for heat treatment. By building on the success of its recent pilot project to heat steel with hydrogen, Ovako is now preparing the first full-scale production installation at its Hofors mill in Sweden.
Nucor Corp. announced that its board of directors approved the construction of a new melt shop at one of the company’s existing bar mills in the western United States. The new $100 million facility will have the capacity to produce 600,000 tons annually and create approximately 140 new full-time jobs. Start-up is expected in 2024. Nucor has 15 bar mills strategically located across the country that manufacture a range of steel products, including concrete reinforcing bars, hot-rolled bars, rounds, light shapes, structural angles, channels, wire rod and highway products in carbon and alloy steels. Four of the bar mills have a significant focus on manufacturing SBQ and wire-rod products.
United States Steel Corp. announced an exploratory site selection process to build a new 3-million-ton flat-rolled minimill in the United States. The planned minimill will combine two state-of-the-art electric-arc furnaces (EAFs) with differentiated steelmaking and finishing technology, including purchased equipment already owned by the company. The continued adoption of minimill technology will expand U.S. Steel’s ability to produce the next generation of proprietary sustainable steel solutions, including advanced high-strength steels (AHSS). Potential locations include states in which the company has existing EAF operations and greenfield sites. The current estimated investment is approximately $3 billion.
ArcelorMittal will invest approximately $1.2 billion in decarbonization technologies at its Asturias plant in Gijón, Spain. The project will reduce CO2 emissions at the company’s Spanish operations by up to 4.8 million metric tons, which represents approximately 50% of emissions, within the next five years. At the heart of the plan is a 2.3 million-metric-ton green-hydrogen direct reduced iron (DRI) unit, complemented by a 1.1 million-metric-ton hybrid electric-arc furnace (EAF). This starts the transition of the Gijón plant away from the blast-furnace and basic-oxygen-furnace steelmaking production route to the DRI-EAF production route, which carries a significantly lower carbon footprint. The new DRI, which ArcelorMittal says will be the first of its kind in Spain, and EAF will be in production before the end of 2025.
United States Steel Corp. executed a non-exclusive memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Equinor US Holdings Inc., an affiliate of Norway-based Equinor ASA. Under the MOU, the companies will study the potential for carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen development in the tristate region of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Hydrogen-based steel processes and CCS are among the more promising and sustainable technologies currently being developed.
Bull Moose Tube Co. (BMT), a Caparo Bull Moose subsidiary, announced plans to build a 350,000-ton-per-year pipe and tube mill on Steel Dynamics’ new Sinton, Texas, flat-rolled campus. The facility will produce sprinkler pipe and hollow structural sections (HSS) using steel from SDI’s plant. According to BMT, the mill will make product ranging in size from 4 to 14 inches square, 5 to 18 inches round, up to 80 feet long and thicknesses ranging from .187 to .750 inch. It will also expand BMT’s geographic footprint and allow the company to better serve customers in the Southwest, West Coast and Mexico markets. Company officials said they anticipate an early 2023 mill start-up.
Commercial Metals Company (CMC) announced that the Maricopa County Air Quality Department granted it an operating air permit, enabling the company to begin construction of its third technologically advanced micro-mill and the second at its Mesa, Ariz., site. According to CMC, the facility will be the first micro-mill in the world to produce merchant bar and rebar, and it will employ the latest in environmentally friendly steelmaking technology. The plant’s capability to directly connect to an on-site renewable-energy source, which CMC says is a first in North America, will further enhance the low emissions and efficient energy consumption of the micro-mill process.
Tenaris plans to restart activity at its two plants in Pennsylvania: the Koppel melt shop and Ambridge seamless pipe mill. The plant in Koppel – the company’s first domestic steel shop – is finalizing an investment announced in 2020 to upgrade its steel bar size capabilities while also incorporating additional improvements in safety and automation. Tenaris has since increased its investment to include the revamping of existing cranes used to feed the furnace with scrap metal and a new production management system to improve process control at the steel shop. The more than $15 million investment is projected to be completed in May with production to start up in June.