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.
Rio Tinto started operations at a new commercial-scale demonstration plant to produce high-quality scandium oxide at its Rio Tinto Fer et Titane (RTFT) metallurgical complex in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec. Six employees have been hired to operate the plant, which uses a process developed by RTFT to extract high-purity scandium oxide from the waste streams of titanium dioxide production without the need for any additional mining. According to Rio Tinto, customers will benefit from a North American supply of scandium oxide as an additive to produce high-performance alloys. Commissioning work has started as production ramps up to a capacity of 3 metric tons of scandium oxide per year.
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.
American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM) will expand its Three Rivers Manufacturing Facility (TRMF) in Michigan, including installing a new production line and adding approximately 100 new jobs. TRMF is a critical facility that currently manufactures front and rear axles and EcoTrac disconnecting all-wheel-drive systems. The expansion will allow AAM to add additional axle production at the facility, which produces many of the company’s most in-demand technologies, while boosting local jobs and increasing investment in Michigan.
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.
ASM International announced a collaboration with the Japanese Institute of Metals and Materials (JIM). The objective of this collaboration is to encourage the international exchange of knowledge and ideas regarding the materials science community. The initiative is an opportunity for each organization to expand both their network and their resources. JIM is an academic society that promotes the advancement of theory, science and industrial processes as it relates to metals and other materials. Materials Park, Ohio-based ASM International is the world’s largest association of materials-centric engineers and scientists dedicated to informing, educating and connecting the materials community to solve problems and stimulate innovation.
A. Benevenuta & C. S.p.a. ordered a 2,500-ton mechanical forging press from Farina, a Schuler affiliate. The company produces hot-forged steel components for the automotive industry near Turin, Italy. The parts are used in suspension systems, transmissions, engines and brakes in passenger cars, tractors, trucks and earth-moving machinery. The press force of the Benevenuta production lines ranges from 1,200 to 2,500 metric tons.
SECO/WARWICK will deliver two vacuum furnaces to Flansch-Tech, a specialist in aluminum and steel forging, in Budapest. According to SECO/WARWICK, one of the vacuum furnaces will be the largest in Hungary. The Vector with horizontal charge loading is equipped with a 15-bar nitrogen cooling gas-pressure system and a production work area of 900 mm wide x 900 mm high x 1,200 mm long). It will be used for the heat treatment of tool steels – mostly dedicated to hardening and tempering – and will allow Flansch-Tech to process larger parts.
American Axle & Manufacturing Inc. (AAM) and REE Automotive will jointly develop a new electric propulsion system for e-Mobility. The companies intend to leverage AAM’s system integration capabilities and focus on NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) reduction to incorporate AAM’s electric drive units, which feature fully integrated high-speed motors and inverter technology, into REE’s modular and disruptive REEcorner technology. The technology integrates critical vehicle components (steering, braking, suspension, powertrain and control) into the area between the chassis and the wheel to deliver significant functional and economic advantages. The electric drive units will be developed at AAM’s Advanced Technology and Development Center in Detroit with delivery of prototypes planned by the end of 2021.
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.