Staff photo by Joseph S. Pete
Staff photo by Joseph S. Pete
U.S. Steel will continue to invest in mini-mills in the South after electing to build "the most advanced steelmaking facility in North America" in Arkansas.

The Pittsburgh-based steelmaker, one of Northwest Indiana's largest employers, will build the state-of-the-art steel mill in Osceola next to its recently acquired Big River Steel mill.

The new mill will be LEED certified with two electric arc furnaces with 3 million tons of steelmaking capacity, the company said. It also will have an endless casting and rolling line, as well as advanced finishing capabilities.

“With this location selected and shovels ready, we are reshaping the future of steelmaking,” U. S. Steel President and CEO David Burritt said in Tuesday's announcement. “We had numerous competitive site options, but Osceola offers our customers incomparable advantages.”

U.S. Steel will end up with 6.3 million tons a year of steelmaking capacity in Arkansas, where it has electrical steel, galvalume and galvanizing lines at the Big River Steel mill it acquired last year.

“The state of Arkansas, Mississippi County, the City of Osceola, Entergy, BNSF, and other parties have all worked to make this the clear choice for a path to the future without roadblocks," Burritt said.

He said the company intends to break ground this quarter and begin construction on the $3 billion project as soon as permits are in hand.

“Our nation and our customers need a robust and resilient supply chain to meet consumers’ needs, and that starts with U. S. Steel’s advanced, sustainable steels," Burritt said. "Steel is critical to so much of what the world builds, so how we make our products contributes directly to a better, more sustainable world for all. This new facility will build that future. Stay tuned. As we add this to our world-class Big River Steel facility, you’re going to be seeing great things as we advance the Best for All future of steel.”

The project is scheduled for completion in 2024.

Integrated steel production has been heavily concentrated in the Great Lakes region since the domestic steel industry consolidated during the 1970s. But the newer, more technologically advanced minimills have been springing up across the south.

U.S. Steel said its site selection process was competitive and logistics played a role in its ultimate pick.
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