Big River Steel (BRS) officially opened its new steelmaking plant in Osceola, Ark., on March 1. BRS will produce grades for pipelines, silicon steels for electronic sheets and advanced high-strength grades for the automotive industry in the U.S. SMS group supplied all mechanical equipment, electrical and automation systems and process know-how required for the steel-mill complex and supported BRS in the commissioning phase. BRS has seen a steep ramp-up curve in the production of hot strip, which is at record level.

In the first construction stage, the mill will produce 1.6 million tons of steel per year. Increasing the annual output to nearly 4 million tons of steel per year will be accomplished stepwise by several expansions. The steelworks was commissioned in December 2016 together with the CSP plant, while the RH-TOP facility is to follow in June 2017. After the second proposed construction phase, the steelworks will have two electric-arc furnaces and two twin-ladle furnaces. The CSP plant comprises CSP caster, tunnel furnace, laminar cooling system and downcoiler.