SDI Texas steel mill startup pushed back

The startup of electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmaker Steel Dynamics' (SDI) new flat-rolled mill in Texas has been pushed back to February from the most recent estimate of December.

A source close to the project said a February startup of the melt shop at the 3mn short tons (st)/yr flat-rolled mill in Sinton, near the port city of Corpus Christi, is on the table.

Coils being processed at the mill and at its on-site companies are being sourced from SDI's Columbus, Mississippi, flat-rolled mill.

The flat-rolled mill, which is the only one of its kind in Texas, was originally expected to begin melting in mid-2021. Its startup has been delayed multiple times as weather, labor issues and Covid-19 have hampered its development.

SDI did not respond to requests for comment.

Other developments that indicate SDI is getting ready to melt include a 7 January delivery from the PRT Kaho bulk cargo vessel, which arrived at Corpus Christi with 50,000 metric tonnes (t) of pig iron from Novorossiysk, Russia, according to vessel tracking data. It was the second pig iron vessel to offload at the port, with the prior one being a 37,000t vessel from Brazil in July.

The mill is also situated to source raw material from Voestalpine's nearby hot-briquetted iron (HBI) plant. Those products give EAF steelmakers alternatives to prime ferrous scrap, which is expected to see demand growth as new US capacity comes on line.