Big River Steel announced the commissioning of its batch anneal furnaces and skin pass mill. The start-up of the two operations is the first step in in phased process to bring equipment on line for the company’s Flex Mill.
The $1.3 billion steel mill, when fully operational, will produce 1.6 million tons of niche and specialty steels. The batch anneal operation and skin pass mill are part of Big River Steel’s finishing mill where steel undergoes intense processing to meet customers’ final demands.
“The successful start-up of two of our operating units, less than twenty months after forming our company and breaking ground on our project, is yet another significant accomplishment for Big River Steel and our employees,” said Dave Stickler, chief executive officer for Big River Steel. “Working closely with our technology partner. SMS Group, we look forward to producing a full complement of high-quality, value-added steels in an environmentally friendly and efficient manner.”
The Flex Mill is combination integrated and mini-mill using state-of-the-art technology to produce light weight advanced high strength steels, complex electrical steels and energy pipe grade steels. A Ruhrstahl-heraeus (RH degasser) will be the first of its kind connected to an EAF and compact strip production mill in the U.S. It will allow for faster and more efficient removal of carbon compared to traditional vacuum tank degassers.
The company is in the process of hiring the 425 employees it will need to run its operations, with those positions having an average annual compensation of more than $75,000.
Ramp up of the melt shop is currently scheduled for November.
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