Big River Steel (BRS) has launched the second phase of its scrap metal recycling and flat-rolled steel production facility.
This expansion, which is estimated to cost $716 million, is expected to double Big River Steel’s annual production capacity to 3.3 million tons. Big River Steel’s current capacity is roughly 1.65 million tons annually.
As part of the second phase, the steel mill has brought a second electric arc furnace, ladle metallurgical station, thin-slab continuous caster, tunnel furnace and hot mill downcoiler online. Originally slated to be brought online on Jan. 27, 2021, the company is more than two months ahead of schedule.
With the equipment online, Big River Steel executives are planning an “aggressive rampup” in production over the course of the coming five months. Currently, the mill averages 3,000 tons of steel per employee, and the goal is to reach approximately 5,000 tons of steel per employee – an increase of 66 percent.
“When describing the success of our Phase Two construction efforts, I am extremely proud to be able to use my five favorite words: ‘ahead of schedule’ and ‘under budget.’ This achievement is a testament to the hard work and can-do attitude of our employees,” Big River Steel CEO Dave Stickler said in a statement.
Speaking to Fastmarkets AAM magazine, Stickler said that he anticipates the company reaching its capacity rating by the second quarter of 2021 – around April.
This production ramp-up is not the only project Big River Steel has planned for 2021. Big River Steel is planning to add a 550,00-tpy Gen3 galvanizing line at its Osceola facility by 2023. In a separate interview with Fastmarkets AMM, BRS chief commercial officer Keith Shuttlesworth said that the company was in the “final stages” of developing the project plans and would be arranging financing for the project.
The $1.3 billion scrap metal recycling and flat-rolled steel production facility was launched in 2017. According to a company news release, Big River Steel has provided steel to more than 225 clients, representing the automotive, energy, construction and agriculture industries, since that time.
Earlier in 2020, Big River Steel announced that it would be partnering with Koch Metallics on material procurement. Big River Steel made Koch Metallics its exclusive metallics procurement agent.