Steelmaker Nucor wants to construct a $1.35-billion steel plate mill somewhere in the Midwest.
The company said in a Jan. 7 press release that the mill would employ 400 workers and would produce 1.2 million tons of steel plate products annually. Nucor, which is based in Charlotte, N.C., expects construction to be completed by 2022.
ArcelorMittal already has plate operations in Gary and Burns Harbor, Ind., and U.S. Steel Corp. produces some plate products at its Granite City Works in Granite City, Ill. Steel plate is used in structural steel for buildings and has other construction uses.
"This investment is consistent with our drive to continue delivering sustainable, profitable growth and superior returns for shareholders," said John Ferriola, chairman, CEO and president of Nucor, in a statement.
Ferriola said the plant will produce cut-to-length, coiled, heat-treated, and discrete plate ranging from 60 to 160 inches wide, and in gauges from 3/16 in. to 14 in. in thickness. That would enable Nucor to supply plate products it does not currently offer to construction companies and other customers. Nucor already operates plate mills in North Carolina, Alabama and Texas.
"By building this state-of-the-art plate mill in the Midwest—the largest plate-consuming area in the U.S., we will enhance our ability to serve our customers in the region while also furthering our goal of meeting all the steel needs of our customers around the country. We expect to select a site for the new mill early this year," Leon Topalian, Nucor executive vice president of beam and plate products, said in a webcast discussing the announcement with media and investors.
With investments already announced, Nucor now has more than $3.5 billion planned in new construction and plant expansions through 2022. Ferriola credited tax reform, a better regulatory environment and foreign steel tariffs enacted by the Trump administration with making his company's investments possible.
"This administration is taking the decisive and meaningful actions that American manufacturers need to compete on a level playing field," Ferriola said. "Tax reform, continued improvements to our regulatory approach and strong trade enforcement are giving businesses like ours the confidence to make long-term capital investments here in the U.S. that create jobs and ensure our success for decades to come."