ArcelorMittal has announced its intention to add electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmaking capacity at the AM/NS (ArcelorMittal/Nippon Steel Corp.) Calvert, Alabama, rolling mill complex. As planned, the EAF melt shop will be capable of producing 1.5 million tons of steel slabs for the adjacent hot strip mill and will be able to produce “a broad spectrum of steel grades required for Calvert’s end-user markets,” according to ArcelorMittal.
Construction is expected to take two years, and the new facility is anticipated to create 300 additional jobs, according to Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal.
“An electric arc furnace at Calvert makes strategic sense as it allows our asset to be more reactive to the local market, as well as being in line with the USMCA [United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement],” states Lakshmi Mittal, chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal.
“Furthermore, it aligns with our ambition of producing smarter steels for a better world,” says Mittal, likely in reference to a scrap-fed EAF being more emissions friendly than using slabs made via a basic oxygen furnace (BOF). The rolling mills in Calvert have been buying steel slabs made by an integrated BOF steelmaking complex in Brazil, per the agreement made in 2013 when ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel acquired the Calvert complex from Germany-based ThyssenKrupp.
“The addition of an EAF at AM/NS Calvert presents a transformational opportunity for what is already widely considered to be the world’s most advanced steel finishing facility,” says Brad Davey, CEO of ArcelorMittal North America. “This is a logical next step in optimizing AM/NS Calvert’s supply chain. In addition, the USMCA trade agreement is a ‘game-changer,’ and as a result, future steel supply chains for the automotive markets will be required to use steel that was created within North America,” he adds, likely referring to the current use of Brazilian steel slabs.
ArcelorMittal describes AM/NS Calvert as “the world’s most advanced steel finishing facility” that “demonstrates the highly successful partnership between ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel Corp.” AM/NS Calvert was originally built by Thyssenkrupp, with a total investment cost of about $4 billion. The AM/NS joint venture, which completed its acquisition of the complex in 2014, has invested an additional $200 million in Calvert, according to ArcelorMittal. “These capabilities and geographic location, in combination with the new EAF, will position the facility well for meeting automotive and energy market demand well into the future,” states the steel producer.