ArcelorMittal has partnered with two other companies to buy a steel finishing facility in Alabama for nearly $1.6 billion.
Local mills could furnish a small portion of the slab for the TK Steel USA plant in Calvert, Ala. German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp has been trying for more than a year to sell the plant, which has hot-rolling, cold-rolling, coating and finishing lines.
Luxemburg-based ArcelorMittal, which has extensive local operations, is partnering with Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal Corp. to buy the facility, which has a total annual capacity of 5.3 million tons. The deal includes a six-year agreement to buy slab from a steel mill in Brazil, but ArcelorMittal said the remaining slab balance would come from its plants in the United States, Brazil and Mexico.
The company says the new finishing facility will help boost its automotive business in the United States. ArcelorMittal says its current production facilities for automakers - including mills in Northwest Indiana and Cleveland - are at a high level of capacity utilization. U.S. vehicle production is expected to increase by 15 percent over the next decade.
Locally, ArcelorMittal operates integrated steel mills in East Chicago and Burns Harbor, a global research and development facility in East Chicago, a hot strip mill in Riverdale, a plate mill in Gary, and processing and finishing joint venture facilities in New Carlisle.