Steel News

Big River Completes Arkansas Expansion

11/18/2020 - Big River Steel has successfully started up its new melt and cast equipment, marking the end to a project that doubles the steelmaker’s production capacity, the company announced on Wednesday. 

“When describing the success of our Phase Two construction efforts, I am extremely proud to be able to use my five favorite words: ‘ahead of schedule’ and ‘under budget.’ This achievement is a testament to the hard work and can-do attitude of our employees,” said David Stickler, Big River Steel’s chief executive officer.

The expansion entailed installation of a second electric arc furnace, ladle metallurgical station, thin-slab continuous caster, tunnel furnace and hot mill downcoiler at its plant in Arkansas. Commissioning was originally set for the end of January. 

“Being able to successfully complete a US$700 million construction project in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic is a tremendous accomplishment. The entire Big River Steel family is extremely proud of what we have accomplished,” said Jim Bell, chief executive officer of BRS Construction Advisory Group LLC. 

Big River said it is planning to aggressively ramp up its new capacity over the next five months. 

“Once rated capacity is reached, Big River Steel will produce close to 5,000 tons of steel per employee per annum, up almost 66% from the already world-class 3,000 tons of steel per employee currently produced,” it said. 

The expansion doubles Big River Steel’s production capacity to 3.3 million tons annually.