Nucor Corp. announced that its board of directors approved the construction of a new state-of-the-art sheet mill. The approximately $2.7 billion facility will have the capacity to produce 3 million tons of steel annually. The company is evaluating locations in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The mill will be able to produce hot-rolled sheet products with downstream processing including a tandem cold mill, annealing capabilities and two galvanizing lines. Galvanizing capabilities will include an advanced high-end automotive line with full inspection capabilities and a construction-grade line.
United States Steel Corp. announced an exploratory site selection process to build a new 3-million-ton flat-rolled minimill in the United States. The planned minimill will combine two state-of-the-art electric-arc furnaces (EAFs) with differentiated steelmaking and finishing technology, including purchased equipment already owned by the company. The continued adoption of minimill technology will expand U.S. Steel’s ability to produce the next generation of proprietary sustainable steel solutions, including advanced high-strength steels (AHSS). Potential locations include states in which the company has existing EAF operations and greenfield sites. The current estimated investment is approximately $3 billion.
Ternium signed a memorandum of understanding with Brazilian mining company Vale to develop steelmaking solutions focused on reducing CO2 emissions. The partnership is an important step in Ternium’s decarbonization strategy. The steelmaker is committed to reduce its CO2 emission intensity by 20% by 2030. Ternium and Vale intend to develop economic feasibility studies of potential investments in an iron-ore briquetting plant at Ternium’s Brazil facility and plants to produce metallic products with a low-carbon footprint using Tecnored and HYL.
Sweden’s SSAB produced what it says is the world’s first fossil-free steel and delivered it to a customer. SSAB Oxelösund rolled the first steel produced using HYBRIT technology – steel reduced by 100% fossil-free hydrogen instead of coal and coke – with good results in July 2021. The steel is now being delivered to Volvo Group. SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall created HYBRIT (hydrogen breakthrough ironmaking technology) in 2016 with the goal of developing a technology for fossil-free steelmaking and ironmaking. In June 2021, the three companies were able to showcase the world’s first hydrogen-reduced sponge iron produced at HYBRIT’s pilot plant in Luleå. This first sponge iron has since been used to produce the first steel made with HYBRIT technology.
Tenova successfully started up two 400-ton/hour walking-beam furnaces at Ternium’s new hot-strip mill in Pesqueria, Mexico. The furnaces are designed to heat steel slabs (up to 39 tons) at 2282°F (1250°C) while keeping NOx emissions lower than 60 ppm. This emissions level is well below the required limit. According to Ternium, the furnaces will produce coils to be used in the North American automotive market.
Nucor Corp. entered into an agreement to purchase Hannibal Industries Inc. for $370 million. The company provides racking solutions to warehouses and serves the e-commerce, industrial, food-storage and retail segments. Hannibal Industries has manufacturing facilities in Los Angeles and Houston, as well as three distribution centers. It utilizes sheet and bar steel, as well as steel decking, wire deck and fasteners to produce its racking solutions. In addition to manufacturing racking solutions, Hannibal Industries offers turnkey services such as installation, procurement and facility integration.
ArcelorMittal will invest approximately $1.2 billion in decarbonization technologies at its Asturias plant in Gijón, Spain. The project will reduce CO2 emissions at the company’s Spanish operations by up to 4.8 million metric tons, which represents approximately 50% of emissions, within the next five years. At the heart of the plan is a 2.3 million-metric-ton green-hydrogen direct reduced iron (DRI) unit, complemented by a 1.1 million-metric-ton hybrid electric-arc furnace (EAF). This starts the transition of the Gijón plant away from the blast-furnace and basic-oxygen-furnace steelmaking production route to the DRI-EAF production route, which carries a significantly lower carbon footprint. The new DRI, which ArcelorMittal says will be the first of its kind in Spain, and EAF will be in production before the end of 2025.
Air Liquide and Jiangsu Shagang Group, the largest private steel enterprise in China, signed a long-term agreement for the supply of industrial gases in Jiangsu Province, China. Air Liquide will invest approximately $118 million to build an air-separation unit (ASU) on the site, where it already operates two other ASUs. Under a 20-year contract, Air Liquide will build, own and operate the ASU, which has a daily capacity of 3,800 metric tons of oxygen. The company says it will be the largest single ASU for the steel industry in the world. When it starts up at the end of 2023, it will bring the total installed oxygen capacity to over 8,000 metric tons per day on the site.
Tenova received a contract for the supply of a decarburization and coating line (DCL) from VIZ-Stal (NLMK Group) for its plant in Ekaterinburg, Russia. The line will provide one of the important stages of grain-oriented (GO) electrical strip production. The contract includes the engineering, supply and supervision services of the heat-treatment furnace; mechanical and process equipment; and the related electrical, measuring and control systems. The DCL line is scheduled to start production by the end of 2021.