Charlotte, North Carolina-based Nucor Corp. has announced it will build its new scrap-fed electric arc furnace (EAF) steel sheet mill in Mason County, West Virginia. That county abuts the Ohio River, which serves as the border between West Virginia and Ohio.
“The West Virginia location on the Ohio River provides Nucor with important transportation and logistics advantages, and a strengthened ability to serve customers in the Midwest and Northeast, the two largest sheet consuming regions in the United States,” says the steelmaker.
The announcement is part of a cascade of EAF capacity expansion and location siting announcements in the past three years that includes other investments by Nucor, plus those by U.S. Steel Corp., Commercial Metals Co. (CMC), and Steel Dynamics Inc. In Canada, a long-time integrated steelmaking complex has announced its intention to switch to EAF technology.
“Following a thorough process to determine the right location for our state-of-the-art, greenfield sheet mill, we are thrilled to make this significant investment in West Virginia and enhance our presence in this important region,” says Leon Topalian, president and CEO of Nucor.
Adds Topalian, “Our new sheet mill in Mason County will have unmatched capabilities that will enable the continued expansion of high-quality, low-carbon steels, building on our industry-leading offerings. We are pleased to create hundreds of new, high-paying jobs, and position West Virginia as a leader in clean steel production. We are also excited to create substantial long-term value for investors through this high-return investment, which will help drive Nucor's continued growth.” Nucor says it anticipates the mill will employ about 800 people.
Construction is expected to take two years, pending permit and regulatory approvals. Additional sites in northern West Virginia are also under consideration for a transload and processing facility, says Nucor.
The new sheet mill is expected to cost approximately $2.7 billion and have the capacity to produce 3 million tons of steel annually. The new mill will be equipped to produce 84-inch sheet products, and among other features, will include a 76-inch tandem cold mill and two galvanizing lines. “The new greenfield mill will have a significantly lower carbon footprint than competitors who have historically supplied the region,” states Nucor.
“We thank Governor Jim Justice, Secretary Mitch Carmichael and the West Virginia Department of Economic Development, Speaker of the House of Delegates Roger Hanshaw, Senate President Craig Blair, and local officials in Mason County for their partnership and support of this project,” says John Farris, a vice president with Nucor. “We look forward to breaking ground in Mason County and partnering with colleges and universities on workforce development programs, supporting veterans’ organizations and local food pantries, and working with opioid recovery programs that will provide meaningful pathways to jobs.”