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).
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.
HarbisonWalker International (HWI), a supplier of refractory products and services, completed the first phase of a $9 million expansion at its manufacturing operations in White Cloud, Mich. The project will significantly increase warehousing space and add advanced-manufacturing and hydraulic press technologies. HWI’s 110,000-square-foot White Cloud facility currently employs approximately 140 people and produces brick and monolithic refractories utilized by the steel industry.