Steel Mills

Corpus Christi Courts SDI as Site for New Mill

Written by Tim Triplett

Development officials in Texas report that the Corpus Christi region is on the shortlist of preferred locations for Steel Dynamics’ new $1.8 billion steel mill.

SDI announced last November that it planned to construct a new EAF flat rolled steel mill in the southwestern U.S. The facility will have an annual production capacity of 3.0 million tons with the capability to produce the latest advanced high-strength steels. The plan calls for value-added finishing lines, including a galvanizing line with annual capacity of 450,000 tons and a paint line with annual capacity of 250,000 tons. The company hopes to begin construction in 2020 with operations commencing in the second half of 2021.

Steel Dynamics said in a recent conference call that the mill is meant to facilitate the company’s access to three key regional markets: northern and mid-central Mexico, the West Coast, as well as Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana—regions in which steel demand is expected to rise significantly in the near future.

Officials in Corpus Christi are keen to woo the new mill, and the hundreds of jobs it will create, to their community. The Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corporation (CCREDC) has identified the steel industry, and in particular an electric arc furnace, as a natural fit for the region due to its excellent infrastructure and port access, low barriers to entry, low business risks and competitive operating costs. On Feb. 19, San Patricio County commissioners unanimously voted to approve the creation of a reinvestment zone comprised of nearly 2,500 acres located near the city of Sinton, approximately two miles east of the intersection of State Highway 89 and U.S. Highway 77.

Recent steel-related investments in the Corpus Christi region include: Tex-Isle, a producer of energy tubulars, which opened a $35 million pipe mill in 2017; Austrian steel technology company voestalpine, which opened a $1.3 billion hot briquetted iron facility in 2016; and TPCO America, a Chinese company that opened a $1 billion steel pipe rolling facility in 2015.

Steel Dynamics did not respond to Steel Market Update’s request for comment on this and other sites currently under consideration for the new mill.

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