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Indiana-based Steel Dynamics to build $1.9 billion steel mill in Texas

A rendering of the new steel mill Steel Dynamics plans to build in Texas.

Indiana is the nation's No. 1 steel producing state and has been for years.

But Indiana-based Steel Dynamics decided it will build its new $1.9 billion steel mill — "the largest project the company has ever undertaken" — in Texas instead. The Fort Wayne-based steelmaker plans to locate a state-of-the-art electric-arc-furnace flat-rolled steel mill in Sinton, Texas, which it says is strategically located by key markets in the U.S. Southwest and Mexico.

"We are extremely excited to announce our selection of Sinton as the site for our next-generation, new flat roll steel mill investment," Steel Dynamics President and CEO Mark Millett said. "We are eager to join the Sinton community, and we appreciate the warm welcome and support that we have received from them, Gov. (Greg) Abbott and the State of Texas, as well as local leaders from San Patricio County, the City of Sinton and the Sinton Independent School Board. We thank them for their trust, shared vision, and support for this important strategic investment."

The mini-mill is expected to employ about 600 workers.

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"We have been developing a flat roll steel business strategy for this region and Mexico for several years," Millett said. "The team is ready to execute. We have extensive experience and a proven track record for successfully constructing and operating EAF steel mills and downstream value-add finishing lines. Our planned new EAF flat roll steel mill will be the most technologically advanced facility existing today."

The steel mill will be able to produce coils of up to 52.5 tons. It will be able to produce up to 550,000 tons of steel a year, including 250,000 tons from a paint line, adding more steelmaking capacity at a time when the domestic steel industry is only running at about 80% capacity utilization.

Steel Dynamics said the mill will serve the Texas area, the West and Mexico, which collectively consume about 27 million tons of flat-rolled steel per year.

"Our customers are eager for us to begin, as we have been discussing plans for several of them to co-locate on site with us," Millett said. "We believe a majority of the customer base will experience a significant freight savings compared to their current supply-chain configurations. We are also making meaningful headway regarding regional prime ferrous scrap sourcing."

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.