Severstal North America, a subsidiary of OAO Severstal, celebrated the grand opening of its Phase II expansion in Columbus, Miss. The $550 million expansion project at Severstal Columbus will increase annual steel production to 3.4 million tons, doubling the plant’s steelmaking capacity. The expansion project included a second EAF, ladle metallurgy furnace, caster, tunnel furnace and hot-dip galvanizing line. A wide heavy-gauge push-pull pickle line was also included in the Phase II project, which created an additional 150 jobs.         

Phase I of the expansion was completed in 2007 at a cost of $880 million. Severstal Columbus utilizes technology that recycles scrap steel into product suitable for the auto industry, pipe and tube, appliances and other applications. The operation currently employs more than 650 workers. According to Severstal, the Phase II project increases the company’s capabilities in heavy-gauge pickled and galvanized products and demonstrates the company’s faith in the U.S. economy.