Steel Mills

Nucor Aims to Restart Louisiana DRI Plant After Idling Ahead of Ida

Written by Michael Cowden

Nucor plans to restart its direct-reduced iron (DRI) plant in Louisiana after pre-emptively idling the facility ahead of Hurricane Ida.

“Our Nucor teammates and their families are safe, and the DRI plant did not sustain any major damage from the storm,” a company spokeswoman said.

Nucor“We expect to resume operations in the coming days when we determine it is safe to do so given the storm’s impact to the region as a whole,” she added.

Nucor operates DRI plants in Convent, La. – roughly 60 miles from New Orleans – and in Trinidad.

The Convent facility, officially known as Nucor Steel Louisiana LLC, has capacity of 2.5 million tons per year, according to the 2021 Association for Iron and Steel Technology (AIST) Directory of Iron and Steel Plants.

DRI can be used as an alternative to prime scrap.

Ida made landfall in Louisiana over the weekend. Its broader impact on steel was not immediately clear on Monday afternoon.

But industry sources reported widespread logistical snarls – port closures and difficulty moving trucks and barges – as well as power outages. And some noted that there were increasing concerns about potential shortages of industrial gasses and natural gas given that the region is also a petrochemical and refining hub.

And in some cases companies have not been able to to access their facilities to determine the extent of the damage. The storm is also expect to hit operations outside of the Gulf Coast as it moves north, they said.

By Michael Cowden,

Michael Cowden

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