Gerdau Expanding Bar Business
Gerdau S.A. will expand its special bar quality capacity in the United States by 400,000 tons through 2014. The Brazilian steelmaker is also exploring the construction of another SBQ facility in North America.
The company has committed to investments at Gerdau Macsteel mills in Jackson, Mich.; Monroe, Mich.; Fort Smith, Ark.; and the Gerdau Ameristeel mill in St. Paul, Minn. The $320 million in investments is on top of the $67 million expansion already scheduled at Monroe, which will add 200,000 tons of capacity at that facility.
Gerdau is still finalizing the details of the investment program, with the project likely to be undertaken in phases. Various factors, including output capacity and market demand, will affect the decision as to how the investments will be distributed among the mills, a company spokesman says.
Gerdau remains bullish on current trends that show substantial growth in the automotive and industrial sectors, presenting opportunities for Gerdau to satisfy increasing demand for SBQ. The company is currently conducting a technical study for the construction of a new SBQ mill.
“North American manufacturers are globally competitive and poised for strong growth. Gerdau's increased capabilities will allow us to meet our customers' demand for high-quality special steel products. Gerdau is confident that this expansion will solidify our footprint in North America," says Guilherme Gerdau Johannpeter, vice president at Gerdau Macsteel.