Gerdau will invest $50 million to replace the continuous caster at its St. Paul, Minn., mill. The investment will increase special-bar-quality (SBQ) capacity by 100,000 short tons and increase the mill’s total capacity to 550,000 short tons. Replacement of the current continuous caster will enable the mill to continue to focus on the products that are currently available to Gerdau customers. The new caster will also improve quality levels and add aluminum grain refined capabilities that are limited by the current casting equipment and practices. The company expects the groundbreaking to occur in the second quarter of 2012 and anticipates project completion by early 2014.           

As part of this announcement, Gerdau and USW Local 7263 have agreed to extend the contract from July 31, 2013, to July 31, 2015. The company has also entered into an agreement with Xcel Energy that will help enable the operations to remain competitive in the future.