Steel Mills

Nucor Gallatin's Full Run Rate Pushed Back to Q1’23

Written by David Schollaert

Nucor Corp.’s $650 million expansion project at Nucor Steel Gallatin in Ghent, Ky., will not reach its nameplate capacity of 3 million tons per year by the end of the year, Leon Topalian, Nucor’s chair, president, and CEO, said on an earnings conference call with analysts on Thursday, Oct. 20.

Nucor“The ramp-up at Nucor Steel Gallatin continues to progress,” he said. “Although we anticipated a full run rate production by the end of this year, we now expect that this will occur in the first quarter of 2023.”

Recall that in June Nucor completed a planned outage at the Gallatin mill related to an expansion that will boost capacity from 1.6 million tons to 3 million tons per year. The company has also expanded the width of the slabs produced at Gallatin from 68 inches to 73.5 inches.

In July, the Charlotte, N.C.-based steelmaker announced the facility had produced the first coil on its upgraded equipment — an 18-mm thick strip, and a new product for the plant.

Ramp-up was expected over the course of the third quarter and hitting its nameplate capacity of 3 million tons per year was planned for the fourth quarter, but that has now been pushed back to Q1 2023.

“The majority of our startup delays have centered around equipment sequencing and remembering that this… was a complete modernization of the entire facility, including new automation software throughout the mill,” said Topalian.

The executive said that Gallatin’s expansion project “dramatically advances the rest of the market solutions” the mill can provide.

Since Nucor’s initial announcement to roughly double Gallatin’s capacity back in 2018, a galvanizing line was added in 2019, and the addition of a pickle line and the tube mill, currently under construction and expected to be operational by mid-2023, “dramatically advance the rest of the market solutions” the Gallatin mill can provide, noted Topalian

“Collectively, these efforts position Gallatin with a higher, more value-added products suite and will enable our team to generate higher profit margins as we move forward,” he added.

The steelmaker previously estimated shipments from Gallatin’s new capacity to reach 500,000 tons this year. The new tube mill at Gallatin will have a 250,000-tons-per-year HSS, mechanical tubing, and galvanized solar torque tube line. The tube mill is expected to be operational by mid-2023.

By David Schollaert,

David Schollaert

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