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.
Italian company San Grato produces numerous forged parts for cars, motorcycles, industrial and commercial vehicles, and agricultural machines. Many of them are made on seven Farina presses with press forces between 1,000 and 5,000 tons at the company’s sites in San Carlo Canavese (Torino) and Malonno in the province of Brescia. San Grato recently ordered its eighth press from Schuler affiliate Farina. The 2,500-ton machine features a kinetic energy recovering system (KERS), which reduces the power demand by 40%. San Grato already covers two-thirds of its energy cost through its hydroelectric power station located close to Torino and a photovoltaic system installed on the roof of both plants. The Farina press also offers increased output and reduced maintenance costs.
Hirschvogel Automotive Components (Pinghu) Co. Ltd., a manufacturer of automotive parts and components in China, contracted Germany’s SMS group to supply a fully automated closed-die forging press. The press will forge aluminum chassis components with high dimensional accuracy at a short cycle time at the company’s Pinghu location near Shanghai. The new line will have a force of 3,150 tons, and it will be the third unit from SMS at this site. Commissioning is scheduled for the second quarter of 2022.
Otto Fuchs KG ordered a crank forging press with ServoDirect technology from Schuler for its Shenyang, China, location. The automotive supplier will use the machine, which has a press force of 3,150 tons, to produce more aluminum chassis components for customers in China. In crank forging presses with ServoDirect technology, several torque motors operate on a main shaft via a step-down gear unit. They are suitable both for wear-free single-stroke operation and for forging in continuous operation.
Nissan unveiled a $1.37 billion investment plan to create an EV hub, Nissan EV36Zero, in Sunderland. The project has three prongs: electric-vehicle manufacturing (including a new-generation, all-electric vehicle), renewables generation and battery production. Envision AESC, a battery technology company, is partnering with the automaker. Envision AESC, which already owns and operates Europe’s first battery plant in Sunderland, will build the U.K.’s first gigafactory on the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) adjacent to the Nissan plant.
The University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC), part of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, is opening an office in Sheffield, United Kingdom, to provide local forging and forming houses with easy access to support from the research center located near Glasgow Airport in Scotland. Supported by Sheffield City Council and operating out of an office on the Olympic Legacy Park, the AFRC’s new base will effectively bring the research lab directly to the manufacturers. The office will help South Yorkshire companies tap into leading metallurgy capabilities, numerical and analytical process modeling tools, and some of the most advanced industry-scale forging and forming equipment in the world over 260 miles away in Scotland.