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Acerinox Set to Revolutionize North American Stainless Steel Capacity
Acerinox Set to Revolutionize North American Stainless Steel Capacity

Acerinox Set to Revolutionize North American Stainless Steel Capacity

  • 30-Jan-2023 12:49 PM
  • Journalist: Patrick Knight

Ghent (U.S.): Acerinox, a Spanish-based metals producer, has recently announced plans to expand North American Stainless (NAS) mill in Ghent, Kentucky by 200,000 metric tons per year. This increase would represent a 20 percent boost in capacity of the mill which is one of the largest consumers of Stainless-Steel scrap in North America.

According to the NAS website, its melt shop products have an average recycled content of 82 percent in 2021. With an acknowledged melt shop capacity of 1 million metric tons, it could be estimated that this facility could potentially absorb 800,000 metric tons of scrap yearly.

NAS has revealed a hefty price tag of $244 million for their planned expansion which will include the addition of a new cold rolling mill, upgrades to the annealing and pickling lines, and the enlargement of their melt shop with a 400 metric ton crane “among other equipment.”

“This is a strategic decision with which Acerinox will increase its positioning in the United States to accompany the expected growth in the American market”, states Bernardo Velazquez, CEO of Acerinox. Velazquez states the decision “reinforces our leadership in the American market and our commitment to this factory, one of the most efficient in the world. We are proud to produce in NAS about 50 percent of the country’s Stainless Steel.”

At a joint press conference in late January, Acerinox and Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced the investment. Governor Beshear said, “I am pleased to announce further growth in Kentucky’s Steel industry with this latest investment by North American Stainless. I look forward to strengthening this collaboration in the years ahead.”

NAS CEO Cristobal Fuentes made a remark, “We are proud to spearhead the Stainless-Steel sector in the U.S., support national security of supply with our production and create quality jobs in our region.”

Acerinox, a leading Stainless-Steel producer, has identified opportunities in sustainability and alternative energy. By leveraging their recycling and circular economy capabilities, they can offer innovative solutions that benefit both the environment and business. Additionally, Acerinox recognizes the importance of stainless Steel and alloys in helping power natural gas and alternate energy sources.

Acerinox mentioned a "regionalization trend" in production, commonly known as reshoring, in their presentation that it says “will attract more [Stainless Steel] purchases in local markets and will contribute to increasing stainless Steel consumption. It is a unique opportunity to bring industry back to the United States and Europe.”

In 2021, most Stainless-Steel scrap stayed within regional markets, with only 11 percent crossing the seas to another continent. This is a much smaller share than Copper-bearing or Aluminum scrap.

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