South Alabama steelmaker announces $500M expansion, creating 300 more jobs
Alabama’s AM/NS Calvert on Wednesday announced a $500 million expansion project that will create 300 jobs in the Yellowhammer State.
A 50/50 joint venture between ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel Corp., the cutting-edge steel processing plant is located in Calvert, which is about 35 miles north of Mobile.
A release announced that an electric arc furnace (EAF) steel making facility will be added to the plant as part of the new expansion.
Once completed, the facility will reportedly be capable of producing 1.5 million metric tons of steel slabs for the on-site Hot Strip Mill and a broad spectrum of steel grades required for Calvert’s end user markets. The slabs are currently shipped from Brazil.
The facility serves the automotive, construction, pipe and tube, service center, and appliance/ HVAC industries.
ArcelorMittal executives stated that the AM/NS Calvert expansion plans make “strategic sense,” specifically mentioning the historic United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which recently went into effect. This historic trade deal calls for the auto industry to use more steel produced in North America, which plays into this Alabama expansion.
“An electric arc furnace at Calvert makes strategic sense as it allows our asset to be more reactive to the local market as well as being in line with the USMCA. Furthermore, it aligns with our ambition of producing smarter steels for a better world,” said Lakshmi Mittal, chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal.
The Alabama Department of Commerce advised that construction on the facility is expected to take two years. The completed facility is slated to create 200 direct jobs plus 100 indirect jobs in the local community. Additionally, the project is expected to support 500 construction jobs.
In addition to meeting emerging auto industry demands, ArcelorMittal advised that the expansion is aimed at the future of the energy market, as well.
Brad Davey, CEO of ArcelorMittal North America, said in a statement,“The addition of an EAF at AM/NS Calvert presents a transformational opportunity for what is already widely considered to be the world’s most advanced steel finishing facility.”
“This is a logical next step in optimizing AM/NS Calvert’s supply chain,” he outlined. “Enhancing our already highly competitive lead times with short lead-time flexibility, combined with our existing world class facilities will give AM/NS Calvert a decisive competitive advantage. In addition, the USMCA trade agreement is a ‘game changer’ … and as a result, future steel supply chains for the automotive markets will be required to use steel that was created within North America. A new EAF at AM/NS Calvert will further secure ArcelorMittal’s leadership in the North American Automotive market.”
AM/NS Calvert was originally built by Thyssenkrupp, with a total investment cost of about $4 billion. After acquiring the plant in 2014, the current joint venture ownership team invested more than $200 million in strategic projects at Calvert before Wednesday’s announcement. Approximately 1,600 employees already work at AM/NS Calvert.
“Alabama has a long heritage in steelmaking, and the decision by AM/NS Calvert to invest more than $500 million at its Mobile County mill represents another important development in the history of the industry in the state,” Governor Kay Ivey stated.
“The growth will help the company serve customers in industries such as automotive with great ‘Made in Alabama’ steel,” she added.
The expansion comes after the Public Service Commission in recent months green-lighted Alabama Power adding significant capacity to the company’s grid in a reliable and dispatchable manner. AM/NS Calvert, a member of Manufacture Alabama, is one of many large industrial customers that utilize Alabama Power’s grid.
In a statement to Yellowhammer News when the PSC made their recent decision, Manufacture Alabama president George Clark said it would be a win for the state’s growing manufacturing industry. Wednesday’s announcement would seem to vindicate Clark’s prediction.
“We have been pleased to work alongside ArcelorMittal since 2013 and will continue to work to provide clean, safe and reliable energy solutions to power their Mobile County expansion,” commented Alabama Power CEO Mark Crosswhite.
Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield emphasized that the expansion will deliver “a massive economic impact on Alabama.”
“This investment strengthens an already great partnership and demonstrates to the world that the Mobile area is open for business,” added Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn