The steel industry is responsible for one-third of all global industrial CO2 emissions, putting pressure on the industry to shift forward toward more environmentally friendly production methods. This review focuses on the current developments over the last 10 years in the steelmaking industry.
The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) applauded passage of the Leveling the Playing Field Act 2.0 as part of the America COMPETES Act by the U.S. House of Representatives. The provisions in this trade bill will strengthen U.S. trade laws by enhancing the tools available to obtain more expeditious relief against repeat offenders, addressing the growing problem of cross-border subsidization and ensuring timely completion of anti-circumvention inquiries. AISI sent a letter to all members of the House of Representatives urging passage of the trade bill as part of the America COMPETES Act.
In response to increased demand from the U.S. steel industry, HarbisonWalker International (HWI) – a supplier of refractory products – is making an investment to substantially increase production of its steelmaking products. HWI will build a manufacturing and service hub for steel customers in the United States. The Pittsburgh, Pa.-based company is assessing strategic site options, and construction is scheduled to begin immediately once the location is determined. The new facility is expected to open as early as the third quarter of 2022.
Steel Dynamics Inc. plans to invest $225 million in two new flat-roll steel coating lines to be located in the southern United States to support its Sinton Steel Mill in Texas, which is scheduled to begin production in late summer 2021. The lines will be comprised of a 300,000-ton flat-roll galvanizing line with Galvalume coating capability and a 240,000-ton paint line. The electric-arc-furnace (EAF) flat-roll steel mill is expected to have an annual production capacity of approximately 3 million tons, with the capability to produce the latest generation of advanced high-strength steel grades. Steel Dynamics expects the new coating lines to begin production in the second half of 2022.
Nucor Corp. plans to build a third TrueCore manufacturing facility to be located in Brigham City, Utah. The 120,000-square-foot facility will manufacture insulated wall and roof panels using continuous line equipment. It is expected to be operational in 2022 and will employ 50 workers. TrueCore produces insulated metal panels that are used as exterior walls, interior partitions, ceilings and roofs in the cold storage and industrial construction markets. With thicknesses ranging from 2-8 inches and widths up to 44 inches, the company’s panels and facilities are designed to deliver consistent quality and reduced lead times.
Stelco Holdings Inc. announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Stelco Inc., successfully commissioned a new pig-iron caster at its Lake Erie Works facility. It has the capability of casting up to 1 million tons of pig iron per year. The addition of the pig-iron caster will allow the company to fully capitalize on increased capacity resulting from its recently completed blast-furnace upgrade project. With the expansion of EAF production in North America, the demand for iron units is placing increased pressure on the existing supply of scrap steel, making pig iron a highly valued commodity in the production of EAF steel.
TMS International, a provider of outsourced industrial services to steel mills, acquired the business and assets of Stein LLC and Stein Steel Mill Services of Cleveland, Ohio. Stein provides services to steel producers throughout the U.S. Its full-service operations provide metal producers with the flexibility and resources to handle a wide range of steel-mill processing services, such as slag removal and metallics reclamation, scrap handling, scrap management, recycling, raw-material screening, material handling, and maintenance and repair services.
Liberty Steel Group, part of GFG Alliance, announced that it made a non-binding indicative offer (NBIO) as part of a thyssenkrupp-led process to acquire the steel activities of thyssenkrupp. Liberty Steel, a global steel and mining business, has 30,000 employees in more than 200 locations on four continents. A possible combination of Liberty Steel and thyssenkrupp Steel would create a group well positioned to tackle the challenges faced by the European steel industry.
The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) released its 2019 Annual Statistical Report, which provides comprehensive data on the U.S. steel industry and select data on the North American steel industry as a whole. The report highlights that shipments from domestic steel mills measured 96.1 million net tons in 2019, up 0.9% from the previous year. U.S. raw steel production was 96.7 million net tons in 2019, a 1.3% increase from 2018.
Germany’s SMS group is investing in the acquisition of shares in two Brazil-based companies, Viridis and Vetta, expanding its market presence in Latin America. Part of the transaction is the merger of these two Brazilian companies to create a competency center for industrial digitalization, with emphasis on efficiency and sustainability technologies. The new business will operate under the name Vetta in conjunction with SMS digital, an SMS group subsidiary specialized in digital solutions.