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U.S. Steel to restart pipe mill in Texas and EAF construction in Alabama
February 14, 2019
Source: ASM International
United States Steel Corp., Pittsburgh, announces plans to restart the No. 1 Electric-Weld Pipe Mill at Lone Star Tubular Operations in Lone Star, Texas, and also to restart construction on a technologically advanced electric arc furnace steelmaking facility at its Tubular Operations in Fairfield, Ala.
The No. 1 Mill in Lone Star was permanently idled in 2016 due to challenging market conditions for tubular products created by fluctuating oil prices, reduced rig counts, and high levels of unfairly traded imports. Once restarted, the mill will provide full-body normalized electric-welded pipe in size ranges 7 to 16 inches outside diameter for customers across the United States, including the very active Permian Basin.
“We are encouraged by an improvement in market conditions and an increased customer demand for tubular products that are mined, melted, and made in America,” said President and Chief Executive Officer David B. Burritt.
The Lone Star No. 1 Mill has an annual capacity of approximately 400,000 tons. U.S. Steel anticipates hiring 140 new employees. The restart process will begin immediately and will be completed in early third quarter 2019. Restart costs are not expected to be material.
U.S. Steel previously initiated construction of the Fairfield EAF in March 2015, but suspended construction in December 2015 due to unfavorable market conditions. The investment to complete the EAF, which includes modernization of the existing rounds caster, is expected to be approximately $215 million and add about 150 full-time employees. The EAF will have an annual capacity of 1.6 million tons. Construction is expected to begin immediately, and the furnace is expected to produce steel rounds in the second half of 2020.
“Thanks to the President’s strong trade actions and improved market conditions, support from the United Steelworkers, and incentives from the State of Alabama and the Jefferson County Commission, we are going to add EAF capabilities to our company’s footprint and provide sustainable tubular solutions for our customers,” says Mr. Burritt. “This investment is an important step to improve our cost structure, and it positions our Tubular business to win over the long-term. We are committed to investing in the sustainable steel technology required to be a value-added tubular solutions provider for our customers.”
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