US Steel announces massive Mon Valley Works investment

United States Steel Corporation plans to invest more than $1 billion on the construction of a new sustainable endless casting and rolling facility at its Edgar Thomson Plant in Braddock, Pennsylvania, and a co-generation facility at its Clairton facility in the same state, both part of the company's Mon Valley Works.

According to US Steel, the cutting-edge endless casting and rolling technology combines thin slab casting and hot rolled band production into one continuous process and will make Mon Valley Works the first facility of this type in the United States, and one of only a handful in the world.

US Steel's president and CEO, David B Burritt, described the investment as 'truly transformational'.

"We are combining our integrated steelmaking process with industry-leading endless casting and rolling to reinvest in steelmaking and secure the future for a new generation of steelworkers in Western Pennsylvania and the Mon Valley,” he said. “US Steel’s investment in leading technology and advanced manufacturing aligns with our vision to be the industry leader in delivering high-quality, value-added products and innovative solutions that address our customers’ most challenging steel needs for the future. We believe that adding sustainable steel technology to our footprint will create long-term value for our employees, our region, our customers and our investors."

According to US Steel, the installation of endless casting and rolling technology will give the company 'a world-class asset that will improve the quality and attributes of its downstream products for customers in appliance, construction and industrial markets. With this investment, the company claims that  the Mon Valley Works will become the principal source of substrate for the production of the company’s XG3TM Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) that assists automotive customers in meeting fuel efficiency standards. This project, in addition to producing sustainable AHSS, will improve environmental performance, energy conservation and reduce the steelmaker's carbon footprint associated with the Mon Valley Works.

First coil production is expected in 2022, contingent upon permitting and construction, said US Steel.

US Steel believes that the investment will enable it to continue with its century-long commitment to innovative steelmaking in Pennsylvania and allow for optimisation of the plant and other US Steel facilities without increasing its overall steelmaking capacity. The new endless casting and rolling facility will replace an existing traditional slab caster and hot strip mill facilities at the Mon Valley plant. Current and future employees will enhance their skills with more advanced manufacturing to operate and maintain the new facility through training programmes developed in partnership with local universities.

US Steel's investment will include construction of a new co-generation facility, equipped with state-of-the-art emissions control systems at its Clairton Plant, converting a portion of the coke oven gases generated iinto electricity to power the steelmaking and finishing facilities throughout the company's Mon Valley operations.

The best available control technologies will be part and parcel of US Steel's advanced steelmaking technology. "Based upon current design and engineering data that is accompanying our air permit applications, we expect that the project will result in significant improvements in emissions compared to the existing facilities," US Steel commented.

The new technology will enable reductions in emissions of Particulate Matter (PM) of approximately 60%, PM10 and PM2.5 of approximately 35%, sulfur dioxide of approximately 50%, and nitrogen oxides of approximately 80%, according to US Steel. "The project exemplifies our continued commitment to conserve resources and improve air quality in the Mon Valley," the company said.