Highbar LLC placed an order with SMS group for a new rebar mini-mill, which will be built on a site just outside of Osceola, Ark. The mini-mill will enable Highbar to produce rebar at a sustainable scale with industry-leading operating costs and environmental sustainability results. The mini-mill will include SMS group’s CMT (continuous mini-mill technology), a low-emission and energy-efficient steelmaking system that supplies liquid steel to a high-speed caster that directly feeds the rolling mill in a single process. Efficiency is increased by SMS group’s AURA (advanced unit rectifier assembly) DC-powered electric-arc furnace (EAF) with all-charge continuous feeding system and robotic solutions that improve labor efficiency. SMS Concast will be supplying a high-speed single-strand caster, and the link to the rolling mill will be through an induction equalization furnace provided by SMS Elotherm.

The mini-mill will have industry 4.0 digital solutions and AI-controlled processes to be future-ready to take advantage of digitalization from start-up. The design is such that natural gas is not required during the production process.

Groundbreaking for the project is expected to take place in the second quarter of 2023, with start-up planned 22 months later. Highbar has agreed to continue its cooperation with SMS for another two mini-mills in the future.