Steel Dynamics invests $100 million for expanding operations in Columbus, Mississippi

22 May 2015

Steel Dynamics Inc. will invest approximately $100 million to expand its Columbus mill by adding painting and Galvalume capabilities.

Company officials and Gov. Phil Bryant made the announcement today in Columbus.

The project will create 40 new, full-time jobs.

Steel Dynamics Inc. acquired its Flat Roll Group Columbus Division from Severstal North America in 2014, increasing its steel operations shipping capacity to 11 million tons per year. The facility makes sheet steel products consisting of hot roll, cold roll and coated steel products.

The addition of a paint line and Galvalume capability will allow SDI to produce additional value-added steel products at the Columbus mill. Galvalume is carbon steel sheet coated with aluminum-zinc alloy. BIEC International Inc. is the worldwide licensor of the technology. According to its website, Galvalume is suited for most types of roofing and siding applications as well as unexposed automotive parts, appliances and miscellaneous applications like furniture, outdoor cabinetry, computer cases, gutters and pipe.

"We are excited about this important strategic step toward further diversifying our high quality steel product offering at Columbus to include higher-margin steel products for our customers," Mark D. Millett, CEO of Steel Dynamics, said in an news release. "The most significant portion of our expansion plans is the addition of a state-of-the-art continuous coil coating paint line, capable of producing 250,000 tons annually. We expect operations to begin early in 2017."

The Mississippi Development Authority provided assistance in support of the project for infrastructure improvements, rail construction and workforce training. Tennessee Valley Authority, Appalachian Regional Commission and the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors also assisted with the project.

"The Steel Dynamics team could have selected one of its other U.S. locations as the site of its new paint facility, and the company's decision to further invest in its Columbus operations and create new jobs for the area's workforce speaks volumes about Mississippi's supportive business climate," Bryant said in the news release.

MDA Interim Executive Director Manning McPhillips noted in the release that the steel mill "has been a cornerstone of the Golden Triangle region's industrial landscape for years."

Located on a 1,400-acre site, SDI's Columbus facility is a high-tech electric arc furnace mini-mill capable of producing 3.4 million tons of steel annually. The plant covers more than two million square feet and features state-of-the-art steel manufacturing capabilities, including two electric arc furnaces, two ladle metallurgy furnaces, two vacuum degassers, two thin slab casters, a hot strip mill, pickle lines, an annealing line, a temper mill, two hot-dipped galvanizing lines and a rewind/inspection line.

The $650 million rolled steel mill opened in Columbus in 2007. Severstal expanded the plant in 2011. It is employing almost 700 workers.