Gerdau's Capex Projects Progressing at Special Steel Mill in Monroe, Mich.
“Gerdau is committed to continuous improvement and the new caster is part of a larger project that will increase the quality of steel we produce for our customers,” said Jay Murthy, director of technical services and product development for Gerdau’s North American special steel division.
Construction of the foundation for the new vacuum degasser began in July. The new vacuum degasser is scheduled to start up in March of 2014 with the decommissioning of the old degasser to take place in July. Gerdau is currently in the process of expanding the production capacity of its rolling mill through the installation of six additional rolling mill stands and a new walking beam reheat furnace, which will be completed in the second quarter of 2014.
The company also announced an additional capital investment to increase the mill’s straightening and quality inspection capabilities in May of 2012. This phase of the project is scheduled for completion in October of next year.
The new equipment is part of the facility’s overall US$155.6 million investment project that was announced in May 2010. Upon completion by the end of 2014, Monroe’s overall capital improvement project will bring the mill’s production capacity to more than 800,000 tons per year.
“Completion of this project will enable us to meet the growing demands of our customers so we can continue to be their SBQ supplier of choice,” said Jack Finlayson, president of Gerdau’s North American special steel division.
More than 700 contractors and approximately 200,000 man-hours have been invested in this CAPEX project over the last year, and Gerdau is pleased to report that the Monroe mill recently (21 September) achieved one year without a lost-time accident.
“Safety is a core value at Gerdau, so we take this accomplishment very seriously,” said Bruce Black, general plant manager at Monroe. “This shows that the safety initiatives we’ve implemented are working, especially considering all the moving people and parts during this physical transformation. This is a total team effort between Gerdau employees and various outside contractors.”
Gerdau’s special steel mill in Fort Smith, Ark., also recently achieved one year without a lost-time accident and was recognized by the State for achieving one million work hours without a missed day of work due to a work-related injury or illness.
Gerdau’s North American special steel division specializes in producing special bar quality (SBQ) steel for the automotive, commercial vehicle, agricultural, service center, and energy markets. The division is headquartered in Jackson, Mich., and has world-class steel manufacturing plants in Jackson and Monroe, Mich.; and Fort Smith, Ark. Additional steel processing facilities are located in Lansing, Mich.; North Vernon and Huntington Ind.; Pleasant Prairie, Wis.; and Canton, Ohio.
Gerdau is the leading producer of long steel in the Americas and one of the largest suppliers of special long steel in the world. It has more than 45,000 employees and industrial operations in 14 countries with operations in the Americas, Europe and Asia, which together represent an installed capacity of more than 25 million metric tons of steel per year. It is the largest recycler in Latin America and around the world it transforms millions of metric tons of scrap into steel every year. Gerdau is listed on the stock exchanges of Sao Paulo, New York and Madrid and has approximately 140,000 shareholders.