Steel Mills

North Star BlueScope Expansion on Hold

Written by Sandy Williams

BlueScope Steel says it will delay the North Star BlueScope expansion under way in Ohio for six months to minimize cash expenses as part of its strategy to maintain financial health during the COVID-19 crisis. The full scope of the project will resume when conditions improve.

BlueScope Managing Director and CEO Mark Vassella said, “We are drawing on all our resources, experience and expertise to keep our employees, customers and communities safe and to look after their health and well-being. We are also taking direct action to maintain the financial strength of our business.”

North Star BlueScope is slated for a third electric arc furnace with a melt capacity of approximately 850,000 metric tons and a second caster. Once completed, the Delta, Ohio, mill will have an annual capacity of 3 million metric tons. At the end of 2019, construction had begun on the foundation and melt shop building and the tunnel furnace car foundation. The new administration building and warehouse were nearly complete. Original projections anticipated commissioning the new mill in 2022.

Although steelmaking is considered an essential service in most countries, operations have been temporarily closed in Malaysia and New Zealand to comply with government regulations during the pandemic. Operations in China are beginning to ramp up as business activity increases across the country, said Vassella.


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