US Steel (USS) has canceled a $1.5bn investment that was to be used towards its Mon Valley caster upgrade. The steelmaker’s management said during its Q1 2021 quarterly earnings call that it took this decision based on many factors such as sustainability and value creation from this investment.
The change comes in the light of USS’s decision to grow organically, led by Big River Steel’s (BRS’) existing business model and improvements in its integrated operations model. David Burritt, chief executive officer at USS attributed the company’s strategic change of direction towards the mini-mill business to the value and flexible options created by BRS last year.
Burritt added that USS would continue to operate and invest in Mon Valley’s maintenance. This facility is USS’s most profitable plant due to its low-cost flat roll segment, lower energy costs, and a location advantage logistically. The new plan does not affect or change capacity plans at the plant as that was not the primary objective of upgrading the existing capabilities.
USS spent $170mn of the $250mn allocated towards equipment expenses on the caster but it plans to evaluate and position the remaining investment elsewhere.
After evaluating its coke-making strategy, USS is permanently idling batteries No 1-3 by the first quarter of 2023 at its Clairton, Pennsylvania coking coal-making operation.
Granite City, Indiana is operating well and the company announced no plans to turn on blast furnace A, and no plans to turn on another blast furnace within its infrastructure.