Metals

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October 26, 2021

Photo courtesy of Nucor Corp.

Nucor identifies three states for new mill

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Nucor Corp. announced in mid-September that it will build a 3-million-ton-per-year electric arc furnace (EAF) steel mill in one of three states. The announcement came shortly after United States Steel Corp. announced its intention to install EAF capacity on a similar scale in the Southeast. (See “US Steel searches for new EAF mill site” below.)

Nucor says its board of directors approved the construction of what it calls a state-of-the-art sheet mill and that the company is “evaluating locations in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.”

The company adds, “The new mill will be geographically situated to serve customers in the Midwest and Northeast markets and will have a significantly lower carbon footprint than nearby competitors.”

“This greenfield sheet mill complements Nucor’s existing operations, allowing us to more effectively service customers in the region and grow our core business while creating substantial value for our shareholders,” says Leon Topalian, Nucor president and CEO. “This mill will allow us to competitively meet the growing need that many of our customers, particularly in the automotive market, have for high-quality steel with a lower carbon footprint,” he adds.

The new mill is expected to cost approximately $2.7 billion and to produce hot-rolled sheet products, with downstream processing including a tandem cold mill, annealing capabilities and two galvanizing lines.

Nucor predominantly uses scrap metal to feed its furnaces, though the firm also produces direct reduced iron at a plant in Louisiana.

Once a site has been selected and permitting and other regulatory approvals have been received, Nucor says it expects construction to take two years.

Topalian says, “The green and digital economy is being built with steel, and Nucor, as one of the cleanest steelmakers in the world, is poised to be able to meet these unique opportunities.”



DJJ adds Garden Street, Grossman sites to portfolio

The David J. Joseph Co. (DJJ) subsidiary of Charlotte, North Carolina-based electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmaker Nucor Corp. has announced two acquisitions that will add to its scrap shredding and processing capacity.

St. Louis-based Grossman Iron & Steel, a 101-year-old scrap processing company, has been acquired by the Advantage Metals Recycling (AMR) DJJ operating unit. The acquisition brings AMR’s number of recycling facilities to 12, according to the company.

“We are pleased to welcome the Grossman teammates to the AMR/ Nucor family,” says Mark Schaefer, an AMR vice president and general manager. He calls Grossman “well-positioned to support our growing steelmaking capacity along the Mississippi and Ohio river system.”

Additionally, the Trademark Metals Recycling LLC (TMR) business unit of DJJ has agreed to purchase the assets of Garden Street Iron & Metal Inc. in Fort Myers, Florida. That transaction will bring TMR’s total number of recycling facilities to 26, according to Cincinnati-based DJJ.

Brian Phillippi, who is the general manager of TMR, says, “The Garden Street teammates are a welcome addition to the TMR/Nucor team and will seamlessly add to our strong presence in the Florida market.”

Garden Street Iron & Metal and members of the Weber family, who own and operate it, also have processing operations, including an auto shredder, in Cincinnati. The Weber family’s Ohio properties were not purchased by DJJ.

Recycling Today’s list of North American automobile shredder operations published in 2020 indicates that the Grossman site in St. Louis and the Garden Street site in Fort Myers both feature shredding plants.

Nucor says the additional Missouri and Florida locations represent “a 10 percent growth in capacity” for DJJ. The steelmaker says their addition is “consistent with Nucor’s growth strategy and demonstrates our commitment to expanding the regional recycling platforms supporting our steel mills.”



Photo courtesy of U.S. Steel Corp.

US Steel searches for new EAF mill site

Pittsburgh-based United States Steel Corp. has announced what it calls an exploratory site selection process to build a new electric arc furnace (EAF) flat-rolled steel minimill in the U.S.

Its board of directors has authorized the process to find the best location for two EAFs plus “finishing technology” for a mill that will have 3 million tons of annual capacity. U.S. Steel says the site could contain “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 highly profitable proprietary sustainable steel solutions, including advanced high-strength steels,” the firm says.

Potential locations include states in which the company has existing EAF operations (Alabama and Big River Steel in Arkansas) as well as greenfield sites. U.S. Steel says the investment is expected to be funded primarily from existing cash and expected free cash flow. The final investment requirement is subject to ultimate site selection and scope of value-added downstream finishing assets.

“Our customers are looking for like-minded partners to continue marching towards a sustainable future,” says U.S. Steel President and CEO David B. Burritt. “We already own and operate the most advanced and sustainable minimill in the United States. Now we plan to expand this competitive advantage by continuing to combine our research and development and product innovation, deep customer relationships and low-cost iron ore with additional minimill steelmaking technology to create long-term value for our investors. Our goal is to build capability to get better, not bigger. By accelerating our transition to more efficient minimill steelmaking, we expect to continue differentiating ourselves versus less efficient capacity while improving our through-cycle profitability and lowering our capital and carbon intensity.”

Although Burritt refers to iron ore, EAF steelmakers most commonly melt ferrous scrap and semiprocessed iron ore products, such as direct-reduced iron and hot briquetted iron.

The planned investment is being touted by the company as a step toward achieving its 2030 goal of reducing its global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity by 20 percent compared with a 2018 baseline. “Additional minimill steelmaking will also create a platform to expand U.S. Steel’s verdeX sustainable product line, delivering differentiated steels made with significantly lower GHG emissions than the traditional integrated steelmaking process,” according to the company.

U.S. Steel says the final site selection and other construction terms are subject to factors that include state and local support and final approval by the company’s board of directors.

Once the site is selected, construction on the facility could begin in the first half of 2022 with “production currently expected to begin in 2024,” according to U.S. Steel.



Cleveland-Cliffs expands scrap recycling presence

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., a steel producer and iron ore pellet provider that is based in Cleveland, has promoted three people at the executive level as it seeks to broaden its raw material portfolio by expanding its scrap recycling presence under the newly created division named Cleveland-Cliffs Services.

Clifford T. Smith, previously executive vice president and chief operating officer at Cleveland-Cliffs, has been promoted to executive vice president and president of Cleveland-Cliffs Steel. He continues to lead operations for all the company’s business segments, including steelmaking, tooling and stamping and tubular components. Smith joined Cleveland-Cliffs in 2003. He has served as chief operating officer and executive vice president for business development since 2019.

Keith A. Koci, previously executive vice president and chief financial officer at Cleveland-Cliffs, has been promoted to executive vice president and president of Cleveland-Cliffs Services. Koci assumed corporate responsibility for procurement, logistics, information technology and scrap recycling. He will lead the growth of Cleveland-Cliffs’ raw material portfolio, with a primary emphasis on expanding the company’s presence in the domestic scrap recycling market. Koci joined Cleveland-Cliffs in 2019 and has served as executive vice president and chief financial officer for his entire tenure with the company.

Celso L. Goncalves, previously senior vice president of finance and treasurer at Cleveland-Cliffs, has been promoted to executive vice president and chief financial officer of the company. He leads the financial organization for Cleveland-Cliffs, assuming responsibility for finance, accounting, tax, treasury and investor relations. He also continues to lead strategic corporate and business development initiatives.

All three individuals will report to Cleveland-Cliffs Chairman, President and CEO Lourenco Goncalves, who says, “Cliff Smith, Keith Koci and Celso Goncalves have been critical contributors to our remarkable transformation over the past two years, and I will rely on them to continue to execute on our strategic objectives.”



© pepebaeza / stock.adobe.com

Scepter to supply Novelis with high-recycled content aluminum ingot

Scepter Inc., a secondary aluminum recycling and trading company that is based in Waverly, Tennessee, has announced a multiyear agreement with Atlanta-based Novelis to supply more than 200,000 tons of aluminum ingot featuring up to 95 percent recycled content. Novelis will roll and finish the ingot for its customers that manufacture aluminum beverage cans and food containers in the U.S.

Scepter produces recycled products at facilities in the United States, Canada and Europe. The company has produced rolling ingot from recycled scrap at its Waverly plant since 1991.

“Scepter is committed to use more scrap, reduce emissions and contribute to the overall sustainability of aluminum,” says Garney Scott, CEO of Scepter Inc. “We are excited to partner with Novelis to continue these efforts. Our unique technology and capabilities will produce high-quality ingot that meets bold sustainable objectives set by Novelis,” he adds.

“Novelis’ purpose is shaping a sustainable world together, which recognizes the importance of working with partners throughout the industry to advance sustainability for our customers,” says Tom Boney, executive vice president and president of Novelis North America. “We’re proud to continue working with Scepter to advance aluminum as the most sustainable material choice.”

This supply agreement will result in an estimated carbon reduction of 1.2 million tons compared with using prime-based sheet ingot, supporting both companies’ sustainability objectives, according to a news release issued by Scepter.