Swedish steelmaker SSAB is planning to invest up to US$100 million on its steel operations in Mobile, Alabama. The aim is to increase production capacity for high-strength, value-added steels including quenched and tempered (Q&T) steels while increasing operational efficiency and reducing raw materials costs.

Planned improvements will take place between 2019 and 2021 and will increase the potential capacity of high-strength steel production by 130kt/yr.

There are plans to install a new accelerated cooling system that will, claims SSAB, reduce the need for alloys in the production process.

"Depending on the timing, priority and scope of investments, the Mobile expansion could create up to 50 new, well-paying jobs at the site," the company said.

Chuck Schmitt, president of SSAB Americas, commented: "This announcement demonstrates SSAB's commitment to our Alabama operations and to our valued customer base in North America."

Schmitt added that the planned investment at Mobile increases production and improves quality and performance.

Areas primed for investment include the rolling mill, formatting, blasting and painting as well as overall shipping capacity. Over the years, SSAB's Alabama facility has been subject to continued investments, upgrades and expansions worth in excess of US$820 million.

"We have a long history of successful investment in Alabama, all with great co-operation and partnership with state, county and local agencies," Schmitt said. "It's a track record of success, and we aim to continue the partnership. With these new investments, we have a unique opportunity now to work with local and state level officials to build upon our success even further."