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MEPS’s global steel production and capacity round-up

European steelmakers’ decarbonisation plans, US mills’ capacity expansion and quarterly results from EU stainless producers feature in MEPS International’s latest global production and capacity round-up.

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Europe

British Steel

British Steel has confirmed that it has been granted planning permission to build a new EAF at its Scunthorpe site, in North Lincolnshire.

This follows news in April that the company had received approval to construct a similar EAF at its Teesside facility.

The electrification of the two sites forms the core of British Steel’s GBP1.25 billion decarbonisation plan, which will enable it to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 75%.

ArcelorMittal

Construction of a new EAF has started at ArcelorMittal’s Gijón long product plant, in northern Spain.

New dust collection and waste heat recovery systems will be installed in addition to the furnace. The company expects the 1.1 million tonnes per year capacity furnace to start production in quarter one 2026.

ArcelorMittal’s Gijón development is the first investment to be implemented within the company’s European decarbonisation programme.

Ovako

Ovako plans to invest EUR15 million in the modernisation of its heavy bar mill in Imatra, Finland.

The works will include upgrades to the first and second mill rolling stands and associated electrical equipment. Installation and commissioning are scheduled to occur during the 2025 summer maintenance break.

According to Ovako, the changes will improve the quality of the round and square bars produced at the site and raise its annual output by 16,000 tonnes.

Aperam

The latest financial results from Aperam show that its Stainless & Electrical Steel division recorded sales of EUR1.02 billion in the first quarter – representing a 17% year-on-year reduction.

The division reported an operating loss of EUR21 million, compared with a EUR55 million profit in the same period last year.

Shipments increased by 4% year-on-year, reaching 415,000 tonnes. The company stated that its average selling price for the quarter was EUR2,358 per tonne.

Outokumpu

Outokumpu has confirmed that during quarter one it generated sales of EUR1,479 million, down 26% compared with the first quarter of 2023. The net result for the period was a loss of EUR23 million.

Outokumpu’s stainless steel deliveries for the quarter declined by 12% year-on-year to 444,000 tonnes.

The company said that the political strikes in Finland and the relatively weak market throughout Europe combined to affect both its quarter one deliveries and profitability. It forecasts its deliveries to increase by between 5% and 15% in quarter two, as demand recovers in Europe.

Outokumpu has released further information regarding its plans to reorganise production routes in Germany. Its Dahlerbrück facility is scheduled for closure by the end of 2024, with operations partly being relocated to Dillenburg.

Additionally, Outokumpu expects to shutter its Hockenheim coil service centre before the end of quarter two.

The company believes that these restructuring measures will result in combined annual savings of approximately EUR15 million.

North America

Gerdau

Gerdau announced the USD67 million revamp of its merchant bar mill in Jackson, Tennessee, during its recent quarterly investors call.

The project, first announced in May 2022, will involve various upgrades to Jackson’s rolling equipment and warehousing facilities. These will allow the company to expand the site’s product mix, creating what it calls a “one-stop shop”, it said.

The Brazilian steelmaker also revealed that it was conducting initial feasibility studies of a greenfield site in Mexico for a potential special steel project.

Big River Steel

US Steel has confirmed that a new dual galvanising and galvalume line will be commissioned at its Big River Steel facility in Osceola, Arkansas.

The company also revealed that the work to expand the site – known as the “Big River 2” project – is due to be completed in the second half of this year. This will add an additional 2.7 million tonnes of annual flat rolling capacity, once its two new EAFs enter service.

ArcelorMittal

ArcelorMittal is planning to construct a new non-grain-oriented electrical steel mill in Calvert, Alabama.

The facility has a proposed annual output of up to 150,000 tonnes and will primarily target producers of electric vehicle (EV) motors.

The project has been awarded USD280 million in funding via the United States Government’s Qualifying Advanced Energy Project Credit Program. The scheme, part of the Inflation Reduction Act 2022, awards tax credits of up to 30% for investments in clean energy projects.

Asia

Yukun Iron & Steel

A new fully automated rolling line has entered service at a Yukun Iron & Steel facility in Yunnan province, China.

The line produces hot rolled strips in thicknesses ranging from 0.8mm to 24.5mm and in widths between 900mm and 1500mm at a rate of up to 4.6 million tonnes per year. It will be fed by two continuous casters operating at the site.