TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Nippon Steel Corp and ArcelorMittal SA will spend $775 million to build an electric arc furnace at their U.S. joint venture in Alabama, with a planned start date in the first half of 2023, Nippon Steel said on Tuesday.
The new furnace, to be constructed at their 50-50 joint venture AM/NS Calvert, will have an annual capacity of 1.5 million metric tonnes and will produce hot-rolled, cold-rolled and coated steel sheets.
Calvert currently produces steel sheet products by processing semi-finished products, or slabs, procured from local and overseas suppliers.
With the new furnace, Calvert will be able to manufacture some of the slabs needed to produce its steel sheet products on its own, which would shorten lead time and improve productivity, Japan’s biggest steelmaker said in a statement.
The new furnace will also produce slabs for automotive flat products, including advanced high-tensile steel sheets, it said.
ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, said in September it would sell most of its U.S. assets to Cleveland-Cliffs Inc, the largest U.S. producer of iron ore pellets, but it kept AM/NS Calvert.
(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; editing by Richard Pullin)