Pittsburgh-based United States Steel Corp. (U.S. Steel) has announced it will invest more than $1 billion to build a sustainable endless casting and rolling facility at its Edgar Thomson Plant in Braddock, Pennsylvania, and a cogeneration facility at its Clairton Plant in Clairton, Pennsylvania, which are part of the company’s Mon Valley Works. The endless casting and rolling technology combines thin slab casting and hot-rolled band production into one continuous process and will make Mon Valley Works the first facility of this type in the United States and one of only a handful in the world, U.S. Steel says.
With this investment, Mon Valley Works will become the principal source of substrate for producing the company’s industry-leading XG3 advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) that assists automotive customers in meeting fuel efficiency standards. According to the company, this project, in addition to producing sustainable AHSS, will improve environmental performance, energy conservation and reduce the carbon footprint associated with Mon Valley Works. U.S. Steel says first coil production is expected in 2022, contingent upon permitting and construction.
The technology allows for optimization of the Mon Valley Works and other U. S. Steel facilities without increasing the company’s overall steelmaking capacity, U.S. Steel says. The new endless casting and rolling facility will replace the existing traditional slab caster and hot strip mill facilities at the Mon Valley Works.
“This is a truly transformational investment for U.S. Steel,” says David B. Burritt, president and chief executive officer of U. S. Steel. “We are combining our integrated steelmaking process with industry-leading endless casting and rolling to reinvest in steelmaking and secure the future for a new generation of steelworkers in Western Pennsylvania and the Mon Valley. U. S. Steel’s investment in leading technology and advanced manufacturing aligns with our vision to be the industry leader in delivering high-quality, value-added products and innovative solutions that address our customers’ most challenging steel needs for the future. We believe that adding sustainable steel technology to our footprint will create long-term value for our employees, our region, our customers and our investors.”
U.S. Steel says the installation of endless casting and rolling technology will give it a world-class asset that will improve the quality and attributes of its downstream products for customers in appliance, construction and industrial markets.
The company says its current and future employees at the Mon Valley Works will receive training to operate and maintain the new plant developed in partnership with local universities.
U. S. Steel also will build a new cogeneration facility, equipped with state-of-the-art emissions control systems, at its Clairton Plant. The facility will convert a portion of the coke oven gas generated in Clairton into electricity to power the steelmaking and finishing facilities throughout U. S. Steel’s Mon Valley operations.
The company says it expects the project to result in significant improvements in emissions compared with the existing facilities to be replaced, including reductions in emissions of particulate matter (PM) of approximately 60 percent, PM10 and PM2.5 (two commonly measured particulate matter sizes) reductions of approximately 35 percent, sulfur dioxide reductions of approximately 50 percent and nitrogen oxides reductions of approximately 80 percent, based on current design and engineering data that is accompanying its air permit applications.
Additional details on the investment, including an investor presentation, can be found at www.ussteel.com/locations/mon-valley-works-investment.
The company also has reported first-quarter 2019 net earnings of $54 million, or 31 cents per diluted share. Adjusted net earnings were $81 million, or 47 cents per diluted share. This compares to first quarter 2018 net earnings of $18 million, or 10 cents per diluted share. Adjusted net earnings for first-quarter 2018 were $57 million, or 32 cents per diluted share.
“Over the past few years, we have made strategic investments across our footprint, with a focus on our most critical flat-rolled steelmaking assets,” Burritt says. “Our progress continued in the first quarter as we delivered strong financial results.”
He adds that the company’s investment in its Mon Valley Works “further strengthens our competitive position and will generate long-term value for our stockholders, customers, employees and community.”