Departments - Newsworthy

September 3, 2019

SDI to build EAF steel mill in Sinton, Texas

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Steel Dynamics Inc. (SDI), a steel company headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana, will invest $1.9 billion to build a new electric arc furnace (EAF) flat-roll steel mill in Sinton, Texas. The location is near strategic Southwest U.S. and Mexico markets, the company says in a news release announcing the location.

“We are extremely excited to announce our selection of Sinton as the site for our next-generation, new flat-roll steel mill investment,” Mark Millett, president and CEO of SDI, says. “We are eager to join the Sinton community, and we appreciate the warm welcome and support that we have received from them, Gov. Abbott and the state of Texas, as well as local leaders from San Patricio County, the city of Sinton and the Sinton Independent School Board.”

He adds, “We have been developing a flat-roll steel business strategy for this region and Mexico for several years.”

Millett says SDI anticipates the project will create 600 jobs and opportunities for indirect job growth from customers and support service providers.

The mill will be “the most technologically advanced facility existing today,” Millett says. “Our team has selected a suite of technologies based on our proven history of success that should allow us to achieve steel grades previously out of reach to thin-slab casting technology while sustaining the low-energy and low-carbon footprint that is at the core of our steelmaking operations.”

The mill will be able to cast steel up to 84 inches wide and up to a 5.5 inches thick and will be the world’s largest thin-slab facility, Millett says.

He adds that SDI has placed orders for most of the equipment and has filed for the required permitting at the site.

SDI says the Sinton location offers the company several advantages:

  • proximity to the three targeted customer regions of the four-state Texas area, the western U.S. and Mexico, representing 27 million tons of flat-roll steel consumption;
  • customer-centric logistic benefits, providing shorter lead times and customer working capital savings;
  • proximity to the largest domestic consumption of flat-roll Galvalume and construction painted products, with the anticipated ability to effectively compete with excessive regional imports;
  • enough acreage to allow customers to locate on-site, providing logistics savings and steel mill volume base-loading opportunities;
  • proximity to prime ferrous scrap generation and cost-effective access to pig iron and other alternative iron units through the deep-water Port of Corpus Christi, Texas;
  • logistics provided by on-site access to two class I railroads, transloading opportunities with a third class I railroad, proximity to a major U.S. highway system and access to the deep-water Corpus Christi port; and
  • existing, mature and dependable sources of power, natural gas and water.

The project includes value-added finishing lines, including a galvanizing line with an annual capacity of 550,000 tons and a paint line with an annual capacity of 250,000 tons. SDI says it anticipates producing various flat-roll steel products, including hot-roll, cold-roll, galvanized, Galvalume and painted steel, primarily for the energy, automotive, construction and appliance sectors.

Once it receives environmental and operating permits, SDI says it expects to begin construction in early 2020, beginning operations in mid-2021.

PepsiCo moves to aluminum packaging for some water brands

PepsiCo Inc., Purchase, New York, has announced that Lifewtr will be packaged in 100 percent recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) bottles and that Bubly sparkling water will no longer be packaged in plastic. The company’s Aquafina water brand also will offer aluminum can packaging in the United States.

“We are really excited to evolve our packaging across PepsiCo’s water portfolio to make a positive impact,” says Stacy Taffet, vice president of the water portfolio for PepsiCo. “We created Lifewtr to be an inspirational and purpose-driven brand, and we’re expanding that vision by using recycled packaging to deliver our premium water.”

The changes, which will all go into effect in 2020, are expected to eliminate the use of more than 8,000 tons of virgin plastic and approximately 11,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, representing the latest steps in the company’s sustainability journey and pursuit of a circular economy for plastics, PepsiCo says.

The company’s 2025 goals include using 100 percent recyclable, compostable or biodegradable packaging for its products and 25 percent recycled content in all its plastic packaging.

PepsiCo says it’s working with current suppliers and partners, including The Recycling Partnership, Falls Church, Virginia; Loop Industries, Montreal; the Alliance to End Plastic Waste; and the World Economic Forum’s Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP) to help increase the supply needed to meet its packaging goals.

“We recognize the significant role PepsiCo can play in helping to change the way society makes, uses and disposes of plastics,” says PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Ramon Laguarta.

Global crude steel production up for first half of 2019

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World crude steel production for the 64 countries reporting to the World Steel Association (Worldsteel), Brussels, was 159 million metric tons in June, a 4.6 percent increase compared with June 2018. World crude steel production was 925.1 million metric tons in the first six months of 2019, about 4.9 percent more than in the same period in 2018.

The association breaks down crude steel production by region in the first half of 2019:

  • Asia produced 660.2 million metric tons.
  • The European Union produced 84.7 million metric tons.
  • North America’s crude produced 60.1 million metric tons.
  • The Commonwealth of Independent States produced 50.5 million metric tons.

China led in crude steel production at 87.5 million metric tons, an increase of 10 percent compared with June 2018. India’s production increased by 4 percent relative to June 2018 at 9.3 million metric tons. Japan and South Korea saw their production decrease by 0.4 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively, relative to June 2018.

Steel production in Germany decreased by 5.8 percent compared with June 2018, while Italy’s production fell by 2.5 percent.

Worldsteel says the U.S. produced 7.3 million metric tons of crude steel in June, an increase of 3.1 percent compared with June 2018.

Turkey’s crude steel production for June decreased 11 percent compared with June 2018 to 2.7 million metric tons.