More US flat-rolled aluminium capacity as steel producer starts work on a new mill

Steel Dynamics Incorporated (SDI), one of the largest domestic steel producers and metal recyclers in North America, has broken ground on a new aluminium flat rolled mill in Mississippi.

The Aluminum Dynamics mill will serve the beverage can industry, as well as the automotive and industrial sectors. Local media reported that representatives from Ball Corporation and The Coca-Cola Company attended the ground-breaking ceremony.

“Our customers are excited for us to enter the aluminium flat rolled market, as we have been discussing plans for several of them to co-locate onsite with us,” said SDI chairman, president and chief executive Mark Millett. “These customers would experience significant logistics savings, working capital efficiency and decarbonisation benefits compared to their current supply-chain configurations.”

Fort Wayne, Indiana-based SDI said it is investing US$1.9 billion in the 2,100-acre greenfield site, which is located in Columbus and due to be operational in the summer of 2025.

Annual production capacity is forecast to be 650,000 tonnes and SDI said it plans to “use a significant amount of pre- and post-consumer aluminium scrap” in the production process. The development will also include two recycled aluminium slab centres.

Its decision to expand into the aluminium market reflects growing demand for the metal from canmakers and other industries. Aluminium, particularly that with significant recycled content, is prized among canmakers and their customers, who are seeking to meet carbon emission reduction targets and make their products in the most sustainable way possible.

Last year, US-based canstock maker Novelis announced a $2.5bn aluminium recycling and rolling plant at Bay Minette, Alabama, which is due to be operational in 2025. In April, the London-based international mining group Rio Tinto said it was investing $8.4 million in a new aluminium remelt furnace at its Canadian facility to boost supplies of recycled aluminium.

Founded in 1993, Steel Dynamics has facilities across the US and in Mexico. Sales of $22.3bn in 2022 were a record high for the company.

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