Steel Mills

Davey: ArcelorMittal to continue to invest, expand in North America

Written by Michael Cowden

ArcelorMittal plans to continue to invest and expand its operations in North America, a senior company executive said in an exclusive interview with SMU.

“People were talking about our demise in North America or maybe our exit. And I want to emphasize that nothing could be further from the truth,” said Brad Davey, executive vice president and head of corporate development at the company.

North America remains a “critical market” for the Luxembourg-based steelmaker. “We may have sold some assets. But we’re re-investing,” he added. “We’re seriously looking at an investment here and elsewhere around the globe.”

Davey made the comments in a keynote speech at the Great Designs in Steel Conference (GDIS), an automotive-focused event that was held near Detroit in late May. SMU also caught up with Davey on the sidelines of the event.

Still growing in the USA

Recall that ArcelorMittal sold its union-represented, integrated steel mills in the North to Cleveland-Cliffs in 2020. The company, however, continues to operate mines in Canada and Mexico as well as both flat- and long-products mills across North America.

It’s flagship sheet mill in Canada is ArcelorMittal Dofasco in Hamilton, Ontario. In the US, that place is held by AM/NS Calvert in Alabama, where a new EAF is scheduled to start up in the second half of the year. And in Mexico, its operations include Lazaro Cardenas, which started up a new hot strip mill in 2021.

ArcelorMittal has also expanded into raw materials in the US with its acquisition of an 80% stake in a DRI/HBI plant in Gregory, Texas, that was previously owned by Austrian steelmaker voestalpine.

Davey noted that ArceloMittal had in addition recently received support from the US Department of Energy. That came in the form of a $280.5 million tax credit to produce non-grain-oriented electrical steel (NOES) at Calvert.

With the sale of its integrated mills to Cliffs, ArcelorMittal lost its martensitic product. But the company has since brought a new one to the market. “It is superior to the old one. … It has increased flatness, and it performs much better at our customers plants,” he said.

Looking at ‘any and all’ opportunities

As far as specific investments or expansions in North America go, Davey said there was nothing he could announce “at this point.” But he added: “You’ve really got a very productive region. You’ve got governments that are aligned to grow. So we just see it as a great place to invest in industry. And we’re looking at any and all opportunities.”

Davey pointed to the company’s investments in tailor-welded blanks, a growth market among its automotive customers. “Most of it is connected with a vehicle itself, if we win a major supply on a vehicle, it generally needs some kind of investment and expansion,” he noted.

Michael Cowden

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