Gerdau Special Steel North America outlined a $70.3-million capital investment program for its special bar-quality (SBQ) steel mini-mill in Monroe, MI, covering a series of updates to the electric steelmaking operation there. “This project will upgrade our EAF and secondary refining technology and will be the final step to elevate the technological capability at Monroe to ‘world class’,” stated GSSNA president Mark Marcucci. “In addition, we will substantially improve our hot-metal capacity, which will now fully optimize our previous investments.”
Gerdau indicated it will install a new electric arc furnace (EAF) transformer; updated controls and mechanical systems in the EAF; a new twin ladle furnace; and a new material handling system.
Once completed in 2020, Gerdau Monroe’s shipping capacity will rise from the current 540,000 tons/year to 720,000 tons/year.
No other design details or technology suppliers were revealed.
Gerdau Special Steel North America produces special bar-quality steel for automotive, commercial vehicle, agricultural, construction, distribution and energy markets. SBQ (or “engineering”) steels are long products with high mechanical strength and defect-free surfaces, for manufacturing gears, shafts, axles, drivetrains, and suspensions for automotive, commercial, and off-highway vehicles, as well as industrial equipment, aerospace components, and oil-and-gas production.
This is the second improvement project announced this year for the Monroe mini-mill. In January, Gerdau reported it will transition from 210-mm to 240-mm square blooms later this year, to enhance the automotive industries emerging steel-cleanliness standards.
The steelmaker credited “recent corporate tax cuts” and financial support from the City of Monroe and State of Michigan for helping to make the melt-shop project possible.
Gerdau also noted the new project will bring to a close a series of capital investments and updates to steelmaking, casting, rolling, and finishing operations carried out at Monroe since 2012.