United States Steel Corp. broke ground in Osceola, Ark., on the company’s next-generation highly sustainable and technologically advanced steel mill. According to U.S. Steel, the $3 billion steelmaking facility will be the most advanced in North America and largest private project in the history of Arkansas. The plant will be adjacent to U. S. Steel’s Big River Steel, and the two facilities will be known as Big River Steel Works. The facility is expected to bring 900 plant jobs to the area, along with thousands of construction jobs. It will include two electric-arc furnaces (EAFs) with 3 million tons per year of advanced steelmaking capability, an endless casting and rolling line and advanced finishing capabilities.
The United States and the European Union (EU) released a joint fact sheet on October 31 announcing terms of a tariff agreement completed between the two global economic powers. The agreement in-cludes terms specifying replacing the United States’ tariff with a rate quota on steel and aluminum im-ported from the EU. As a result, steel and aluminum imports from the EU will be limited to historically based quantities without being subject to a tariff prior to entering the U.S., according to a Commerce Department statement.
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. broke ground on its 400-job, $1.7 billion steel-plate manufacturing mill in Meade County, Ky. The project is expected to employ up to 1,500 contractors during construction. Located along the Ohio River in Brandenburg, the 1.5-million-square-foot operation will provide Nucor with 1.2 million tons of annual capacity for steel-plate production. Full-time jobs will include equipment operators, production specialists, safety and environmental technicians, engineers and office support staff. The mill is scheduled to open in 2022.
Liberty Steel Group, part of GFG Alliance, announced that it made a non-binding indicative offer (NBIO) as part of a thyssenkrupp-led process to acquire the steel activities of thyssenkrupp. Liberty Steel, a global steel and mining business, has 30,000 employees in more than 200 locations on four continents. A possible combination of Liberty Steel and thyssenkrupp Steel would create a group well positioned to tackle the challenges faced by the European steel industry.
Olympic Steel Inc. opened a 120,000-square-foot metal-processing facility in Buford, Ga. The location expands the company’s southeastern region footprint, which also includes facilities in Locust, North Carolina; Winder, Ga.; and Hanceville, Ala. The Buford facility will act as the region’s primary flat-rolled fabrication hub, with metal processing anchored in the Winder facility; metal distribution in both the Winder and Hanceville locations; and pipe and tube laser fabrication and bending and welding at the company’s Chicago Tube & Iron location in Locust, N.C.
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.
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.
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).