North Star BlueScope Steel marked the opening of a $700 million facility expansion in Delta, Ohio. The project created more than 100 new jobs and included a third electric-arc furnace (EAF), a second slab caster and a new shuttle facility. The expansion will increase the company’s annual hot-rolled-coil production by 950,000 net tons. The company said it continued to operate throughout the build, and it will make the first slab off the new caster in June.
Novelis Inc. will invest $2.5 billion to build a new low-carbon recycling and rolling plant in Bay Minette, Ala. The facility, which will have an initial capacity of 600 kilotonnes of finished aluminum goods per year, is expected to create up to 1,000 jobs. More than half of the capacity will be used to serve growing demand for aluminum beverage-can sheet in North America. According to Novelis, the facility will be the first fully integrated aluminum mill built in the United States in 40 years. The plant will make significant use of advanced automation and digital technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality and robotics. Site work is currently underway, and the company expects to begin commissioning in mid-2025.
Novelis Inc. broke ground on a $365 million highly advanced recycling center in Guthrie, Ky. With an annual casting capacity of 240 kt of sheet ingot, the facility is expected to reduce the company’s carbon emissions by more than 1 million tons per year. It will add approximately 140 new jobs and will be built adjacent to Novelis’ existing automotive finishing plant in Guthrie. The new recycling center will be equipped with industry-leading processes and capabilities, including advanced shredding and sorting technology, as well as energy-efficient innovations to support the company’s sustainability goal to reduce energy intensity by 10% by 2026 and be net carbon neutral by 2050 or sooner.
Atlas Tube, a division of Zekelman Industries, opened its newest steel mill in Blytheville, Ark. The company’s second in Blytheville, it will be dedicated to producing jumbo hollow structural sections (HSS) as large as 28 inches OD with walls up to 1 inch thick. According to Atlas Tube, the $150 million project is the largest private investment in the U.S. steel industry in the last decade. It is expected to create over 75 new jobs. The company says the 515,000-square-foot facility will be the largest continuous electric resistance welding (ERW) mill in the world, rolling HSS from 8 to 22 inches square.
Tenova was awarded a contract from Tosyali for the supply of an electric-arc furnace (EAF) for its plant in Bethioua, Algeria. This will be the second EAF that Tenova has supplied to this site and is a key component of Tosyali’s current expansion project. The new EAF will be designed to be almost identical to the current EAF, which was supplied in 2016. It will process 2.5 million tons of DRI pellets per year to produce hot-rolled coil (HRC). A charging system will allow charging and melting of more than 12 tons of HDRI (hot DRI) per minute. The composition of the DRI produced and processed at the Bethioua site is adjusted by blending iron concentrates from different sources to achieve the most profitable balance between cost of raw materials and energy.
SMS group has been chosen by Jindal Stainless Ltd. (JSL) to build a new blast furnace at its Kalinganagar unit in India. The blast furnace will have a production capacity of 2 million tons of hot metal per year. The plant will serve both existing downstream steelmaking facilities and future facilities. The blast furnace will be the first in JSL’s new stainless steel complex, which is currently based on electric-arc furnace (EAF) technology, and will be the core of JSL’s Kalinganagar plant expansion. Commissioning of the plant is expected by the end of 2023. The project is another step toward India’s goal of bringing the country’s domestic production to 300 million tons by the end of the decade.
Global aluminum company Hydro broke ground on its aluminum recycling plant in Cassopolis, Mich. Hydro will invest approximately $150 million in the facility, which will produce 265 million pounds of aluminum extrusion ingot per year and create approximately 70 new jobs. When completed, the plant will help Hydro reach its goal of doubling recycling of post-consumer aluminum by 2025. Applications for the aluminum produced in Cassopolis will be used for critical automotive applications and building system applications.
Nucor Corp. is partnering with the University of Kentucky (UK) Research Foundation to test a carbon dioxide (CO2) capture system at Nucor Steel Gallatin. This is one of 12 research projects being funded by a Department of Energy grant to advance point-source carbon-capture and storage technologies that can capture CO2 emissions generated from natural gas power plants and industrial facilities that produce commodities like steel. More than 50 industry and university experts are working together to tackle the difficult challenge of applying carbon-capture and sequestration techniques to an electric-arc furnace (EAF) steelmaking process. Once this pilot is complete, Nucor and UK will have a better understanding of the costs and effectiveness of carbon-capture technology for flue gas with low CO2 content and the feasibility of replication of this technology at other EAF steel mills.
Universal Stainless & Alloy Products Inc. reported that a liquid metal spill occurred during operations at its electric-arc melting facility in Bridgeville, Pa., on Monday, April 11. The spill was caused by a breakthrough at the bottom of a furnace shell. No injuries resulted from the spill. Cleanup and damage assessment are underway, and the company expects melting operations to resume in 6-8 weeks subject to parts and contractor availability. All other operations continue to function as normal. The company does not expect any near-term interruption to product delivery schedules.
Sheffield Forgemasters announced a breakthrough in the industrialization of electron-beam welding (EBW) for thick-section materials. Using EBW, the company weld-joined two 200-mm-thick (8-inch-thick), 3-meter-diameter (9-foot-diameter) forged vessel sections of nuclear-grade steel. The weld, equivalent to approximately 10 meters (32 feet) in length, was completed in a single pass and in a dramatically short timeframe. The weld was completed in 140 minutes with no reportable defects shown in preliminary nondestructive testing (NDT). A weld of this kind would typically take months and include numerous stages of NDT and heat treatment, according to U.K.-based Sheffield Forgemasters.