Australia-based steelmaker BlueScope Steel Ltd. reportedly is considering building a new electric arc furnace (EAF) mill on the East Coast of the United States, in part because of an optimistic outlook for the U.S. construction sector.
Citing a BlueScope investors’ webcast, the Australian Financial Review (AFR) says the planned mill’s output would support BlueScope painted and coated steel products that are part of its Buildings North America business unit.
AFR says BlueScope Chief Executive Mark Vassella indicated any new EAF investment was likely to be in the form of a greenfield location since current mill operators are seeking high bids to sell any existing assets.
An investor briefing pack prepared by BlueScope and available on its website indicates its Buildings North America operation serves a customer base of more than 2,000 builders who use BlueScope products and “proprietary design software in the construction segment to win work and add value in the construction process.”
“What gives us confidence to investigate [a new mill] is it’s a very large market,” AFR quotes Vassella as saying about the end market for steel produced at an East Coast EAF plant.
On the melt shop raw materials side, the BlueScope briefing pack refers to a “strong existing supply base in North Star’s region [for] both prime and obsolete scrap.”
BlueScope seemingly has committed to remaining part of the U.S. mill sector with a $1 billion expansion underway at its BlueScope North Star EAF mill in Delta, Ohio. That expansion is slated for completion next year.