Gerdau SA plans to invest $320 million to expand its special bar quality (SBQ) steel production capacity in North America by 400,000 tons through 2014. Investments will be made at steel mills in Jackson and Monroe, Mich.; Fort Smith, Ark.; and St. Paul, Minn. The company is also conducting a technical study for construction of a new SBQ mill in North America that would have an annual installed capacity of between 700,000 and 800,000 tons. Gerdau is expanding its SBQ production capacity in North America to meet increased customer demand and quality expectations.

The new investments are in addition to a $67 million capital expansion program announced by the company for its Gerdau Macsteel SBQ mill in Monroe, Mich., last year. The program, whose first phase is scheduled for completion in 2012, will increase the mill’s annual production capacity by 200,000 tons.