United States Steel Corp., headquartered in Pittsburgh, has selected Osceola, Arkansas, as the location for a new electric arc furnace (EAF) steel mill. Site selection is subject to numerous factors, including final agreements with key partners. Permitting for the project is underway, and the company says it expects to break ground in the first quarter of 2022, with project completion and full operation anticipated in 2024.
The company announced in the fall of 2021 that it was beginning an exploratory site selection process for a new EAF flat-rolled steel minimill, noting that potential locations included both states where U.S. Steel has existing EAF operations (Alabama and Arkansas, where its Big River Steel mill is) as well as greenfield sites.
The new mill is designed to extend U. S. Steel’s customer advantages, according to the company. It is expected to feature two EAFs with 3 million tons per year of steelmaking capability, an endless casting and rolling line and advanced finishing capabilities. The company says this mill will be the first to use endless casting and rolling technology in the United States, which brings significant energy, efficiency and capability enhancements to U.S. Steel’s operations.
Additionally, upon completion, U.S. Steel says the project will apply for LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, certification.
“With this location selected and shovels ready, we are reshaping the future of steelmaking,” U. S. Steel President and Chief Executive Officer David B. Burritt says. “We had numerous competitive site options, but Osceola offers our customers incomparable advantages.”
When completed, the new facility in combination with Big River Steel will form a 6.3 million-ton mega mill capable of providing many of the most advanced and sustainable steels in North America, according to the company. The new nongrain-oriented electrical steel and galvalume/galvanizing lines currently under construction at Big River Steel will advance U. S. Steel’s ability to respond to customers’ pressing supply chain needs to satisfy their own domestic manufacturing expansion. The location offers abundant, increasingly renewable and clean power from Entergy Arkansas, superior Class 1 rail service from BNSF with connections to other railroads, Mississippi River docks and interstate trucking access, U.S. Steel adds.
“The state of Arkansas, Mississippi County, the city of Osceola, Entergy, BNSF and other parties have all worked to make this the clear choice for a path to the future without roadblocks,” Burritt says. “We’re not going to make our stakeholders wait to see progress. We intend to break ground this quarter and get to work as soon as permits are in hand. With its extraordinarily low-cost structure, energy-efficient production equipment and advanced capabilities, this $3 billion project will yield significant benefits to our customers, stockholders, communities, employees and contribute to a more sustainable world.”
He adds, “Our nation and our customers need a robust and resilient supply chain to meet consumers’ needs, and that starts with U. S. Steel’s advanced, sustainable steels.”
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says, “Arkansas has created an ideal business environment for the growth of the steel industry in our state. The investment and high-paying jobs that will result from this announcement will make a real difference in the lives of many families in northeast Arkansas. I am grateful for the support of the legislature which was critical in winning this expansion. Now, U. S. Steel is an important part of our future and we look forward to continued success in the coming years.”
“Mississippi County has become a national leader in steel production, and U. S. Steel’s decision to create ‘the steel mill of the future’ in this community continues to underscore why,” Arkansas Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston adds. “Not only does Arkansas have a trained workforce, a reliable electrical grid and easy access to river, rail and highways, but it also has a governor, a General Assembly and numerous community partners and stakeholders who recognize the importance of broadening economic opportunities for Arkansans and who will go the extra mile to compete for those opportunities. U. S. Steel is a highly regarded member of the state’s business community, and we are excited to continue our partnership with them as they establish the most advanced steelmaking facility in North America—right here in Arkansas.”