U.S. Steel Plans to Build $3B Mini Mill

PITTSBURGH – United States Steel Corp. announced Thursday that it will conduct an “exploratory site selection process” to build a $3 billion mini-mill in the United States.

The mill would be a three-million ton flat-rolled facility. It would combine two electric arc furnaces (EAF) with differentiated steelmaking and finishing technology, including purchased equipment already owned by the company

U.S. Steel described the investment as part of the transition to its “Best for All” strategy, an exploratory site selection process to build a new state-of-the-art mini mill in the United States. The mini mill would produce what the company described as “highly profitable proprietary sustainable steel solutions, including advanced high strength steels.”

Potential locations include both states in which the company has electric arc furnaces – Alabama and Arizona — as well as greenfield sites.

The $3 billion investment would be funded primarily from existing cash and expected free cash flow, the company said. It is a significant step towards achieving U.S. Steel’s 2030 goal of reducing its global greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 20%, compared to a 2018 baseline, and positions the steelmaker to reach its 2050 net zero carbon emission target.

“Our customers are looking for like-minded partners to continue marching towards a sustainable future. We are demonstrating our commitment to this shared goal by beginning the process to increase our sustainable steelmaking capability,” said U. S. Steel CEO David B. Burritt in a prepared statement. “Our goal is to build capability to get better, not bigger. By accelerating our transition to more efficient mini mill steelmaking, we expect to continue differentiating ourselves versus less efficient capacity while improving our through-cycle profitability and lowering our capital and carbon intensity.”

Final site selection and construction terms are subject to state and local support and final approval by the U. S. Steel Board of Directors.

Upon receipt of required environmental and operating permits, the company said it would expect to begin construction in the first half of 2022 with production to begin in 2024.

Pictured at top: Electric arc furnace #1 at U. S. Steel’s Fairfield Works in Alabama. Image: U.S. Steel.

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