Steel Mills

Investments Announced for AM/NS Calvert

Written by John Packard

The following press release was made earlier today regarding two investments which are being made in the AM/NS Calvert steel mill (former ThyssenKrupp Steel USA Calvert mill). The two investments will assist in bringing the mill up to its 5.3 million metric ton (5.8 million net tons) target for production. The release (below) came from ArcelorMittal.

Chicago, September 16, 2014
Today, ArcelorMittal, in partnership with joint venture partner Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metals Corporation (NSSMC), announced two important investment projects that will further enhance the capabilities of AM/NS Calvert, the world’s most advanced steel finishing facility in Calvert, Alabama.
“ArcelorMittal, together with NSSMC, is committed to achieving the standard-setting potential of AM/NS Calvert, which boasts a total annual capacity of 5.3 million metric tons,” said Andy Harshaw, executive vice president, ArcelorMittal USA. “While AM/NS Calvert is a state-of-the-art finishing operation capable of producing high-quality products for a variety of markets, additional improvements are needed to reach near-full capacity levels.”

A US$40m slab yard expansion project is underway to increase AM/NS Calvert’s slab staging capacity and efficiency. The hot strip mill currently consists of three bays with the capacity to stage around 335,000 metric tons of incoming slabs, significantly less than the staging capacity required to achieve the 5.3 million metric ton target.
The slab yard expansion will include the addition of overhead cranes, along with foundation work and structural steel erection, to increase the staging and storage capacity in support of achieving the full capacity of the hot strip mill.
Apart from the additional capital investment using locally sourced contractors, the enhancements will create around 16 new crane operator positions. The project is expected to be complete in Q2 2016.
“This investment is a clear indication of the confidence our joint venture partners are placing in our future success and serves as a perfect example of our facility’s continuing return on investment for the state and local economies,” said Chris Richards, president, AM/NS Calvert.
An additional US$6.7m will be invested in the facility’s existing number four continuous coating line, which will significantly increase ArcelorMittal’s North American capacity to produce press hardenable steels, notably one of the strongest steels used in automotive applications, Usibor®, a type one aluminum-silicon coated (Al Si) high strength steel.
AM/NS Calvert will also be capable of producing Ductibor®, an energy-absorbing high strength steel grade designed specifically to complement Usibor® and offer ductility benefits to customers. Currently, ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor is the only ArcelorMittal facility in the western hemisphere producing Usibor® and Ductibor®.
“This modest investment has significant market implications, increasing ArcelorMittal’s Usibor® and Ductibor® capacity in North America to meet rapidly growing customer demand,” said Greg Ludkovsky, vice president, global research and development, ArcelorMittal. “The implementation of established technologies on an existing line, which already offers excellent capabilities, will enhance our product offering and help meet growing customer demand for advanced steel grades critical to both automotive and non-automotive markets.”
Number four continuous coating line currently operates two coating pots: one to produce galvanized steel, or zinc-coated steel which helps resist corrosion, and the second to produce galvalume steel, steel coated with both aluminum and zinc to improve weather resistance. Modifications made to an existing third pot include a welder, snout articulation and pumps, pot refractory and equipment, drossing robot and coating knife and will allow AM/NS Calvert to produce aluminum-coated conventional and press hardenable steels such as Usibor® and Ductibor®.
The modifications are expected to be complete by the end of the year and the first coil is targeted for production in January 2015. The aluminum-silicon coated steels provide high-temperature corrosion resistance ideally suited for heat exchangers, hot stamping and exhaust parts for the automotive, HVAC and aftermarket exhaust, and tubing markets.
ArcelorMittal and NSSMC closed the US$1.55bn acquisition of the Calvert, Alabama facility on February 26, 2014. Currently, the hot mill is operating at around 75 to 80 percent of design capacity. In June, the facility achieved its highest production month to date, at 83 percent of capacity.

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