NEW YORK A
structural failure at Nucor Corp.s direct-reduced iron
(DRI) facility in St. James Parish, La., will delay its
start-up until year-end.
The incident occurred
Sept. 25 when a storage dome collapsed at the facility, the
company said Sept. 26, adding there were no injuries or
"Nucor Steel Louisiana
is finishing construction of its new (DRI) plant on the site
and had planned to begin production within a few weeks," the
Charlotte, N.C.-based steel producer said. "Based on our
preliminary assessment, we are currently forecasting the
start-up of operations will now be delayed until the end of the
St. James Parish
Sheriff Willy J. Martin Jr. said he received a call that
indicated an explosion might have occurred at the facility, he
"It turned out it
wasnt an explosion but a structural failure," he said.
"They have three domes where they store raw materials and one
of those three domes collapsed. It fell on top of the product
thats in it, the raw material product, and there was no
Once the area was
inspected and all personnel were accounted for, Martin called
off first responders, he added.
The domes carry iron
ore pellets, which are converted into DRI through the use of
natural gas. Nucor added that construction and hot
commissioning of the plant are continuing during an
investigation of the incident and damage assessment.
Nucor president and
chief executive officer John Ferriola said during the
companys most recent earnings call that it was hoping to
start the plant by the end of September. Following completion
of the plant, coupled with the 2 million tons of annual
capacity at its Trinidad DRI facility, Nucor will achieve
two-thirds of its long-term goal to control 6 million to 7
million tons of annual capacity in high-quality scrap
amm.com, July 19).