Arkansas-based Big River Steel is doubling the plant’s capacity from 1.3mn nt (1.2mn mt) to about 2.6mn nt annually thought the installation of a second electric arc furnace (EAF), a second tunnel furnace, and a second casting system. The added furnace will produce commercial-grade coils and has an expected start date in mid-November 2020.
EAF-based mills as a portion of total US steel production are expected to continue to dominate the US steel production landscape by providing 85pc share by 2025.
Big River Steel is continuing to shape its Brownsville, Texas-based future mill project. State and local authorities are working with Big River on an economic package, attractive electricity rates and environmental regulations. The environmental permit application is expected to be filed in Q1 2021.
The 3.5-4mn nt annual capacity mill in Brownsville is being designed as an off-balance sheet project that will obtain its own financing and not be joined with Big River Steel assets but allow for future acquisition. Financing has not yet been secured.
The $1.2bn investment for a total hot-rolled steel production capacity increase to 3.3mn nt annually was officially announced in June 2018. SMS group GmbH was selected as the primary technology provider with major construction activity beginning in late 2018 with an expected outlook for completion in late 2020. The capacity has now been adjusted down to 2.6mn nt since the June 2018 announcement.
Big River Steel began operations in early 2017 with an investment of $1.3bn.