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, bringing many customer and raw material advantages, 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. We thank them for their trust, shared vision and support for this important strategic investment.”
Millett says SDI anticipates the project will create 600 jobs and opportunities for indirect job growth from customers and other support service providers.
"We have been developing a flat-roll steel business strategy for this region and Mexico for several years," he explains.
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, he says. “The steel mill will also have a unique rolling mill configuration, providing the capability to produce advanced high-strength steel grades, including some energy sector products not available in the U.S. today.”
The new SDI mill’s ability to produce coils of up to 52.5 tons will create “meaningful cost efficiencies for certain energy customers,” Millett says. “These advances will further reduce the gap between existing EAF and integrated steel mill production capabilities.”
Millett says SDI has placed orders for most of the equipment and has filed for the required permitting at the site.
SDI says the location has several inherent advantages:
- proximity to the three targeted customer regions of the four-state Texas area, the western U.S. and Mexico, representing about 27 million tons of relevant 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 via the four-state Texas region and Mexico, and cost-effective access to pig iron through the deep-water port of Corpus Christi, Texas. as well as other alternative iron units;
- 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 port of Corpus Christi; and
- existing, mature and dependable power, natural gas and water sources.
The project will include value-added finishing lines, including a galvanizing line with an annual capacity of 550,000 tons, and a paint line with an annual coating capacity of 250,000 tons, SDI says. The product offering is anticipated to include various flat-roll steel products, including hot-roll, cold-roll, galvanized, Galvalume® and painted steel, primarily serving the energy, automotive, construction and appliance sectors.
Once the company has received the required environmental and operating permits, SDI says it expects to begin construction in early 2020, beginning operations in mid-2021.