Big River Steel boosted its production capacity to 3.3 million tons a year. Provided image
Big River Steel boosted its production capacity to 3.3 million tons a year. Provided image
Big River Steel, the Arkansas-based mini-mill that U.S. Steel is in the process of acquiring as part of its "the best of both worlds" strategy, recently completed the second phase of an expansion project that will increase its production capacity to 3.3 million tons a year.

The steelmaker in Mississippi County, Arkansas completed the $716 million project two months early.

"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," said Dave Stickler, Big River Steel's chief executive officer.

Big River Steel brought online a second electric arc furnace, a ladle metallurgical station, a thin-slab continuous caster, a tunnel furnace, and a hot mill downcoiler. As a result, the mill expects to produce 5,000 tons of steel per employee per year, up from 3,000 tons per employee per year.

"Being able to successfully complete a $700 million construction project in the face of the COVID pandemic is a tremendous accomplishment," said Jim Bell, chief executive officer of BRS Construction Advisory Group. "The entire Big River Steel family is extremely proud of what we have accomplished."

Big River Steel opened a $1.3 billion scrap metal recycling and flat-rolled steel mill in 2017, building up a customer base of more than 225 companies in the automotive, energy, construction and agricultural sectors.

Last year, U.S. Steel invested $700 million to acquire a 49.9% stake in the firm, with an option to buy it outright.
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