Metal recyclers selling into the Alabama market will enjoy
increased demand and a shift in the type of scrap consumed
when U.S. Steel Corp. converts to electric-arc furnace (EF)
steelmaker announced plans to replace the blast furnace at its
Fairfield (Ala.) Works with an EF-based melt shop, which is
expected to sport an annual raw steel production capacity of
about 1.1 million net tons (
amm.com, Jan. 29).
about 28,000 tons of primarily shredded, plate and structural,
heavy melting scrap and bundles per month, market sources told
AMM. The shift to EF steelmaking, which is expected to
be completed by 2017, will increase Fairfields scrap
purchasing to an estimated 60,000 to 80,000 tons per month.
"This area consumes
500,000 tons of scrap each month, so a 10-percent increase is a
nice amount," one Birmingham, Ala., scrapyard operator
The new melt shop will
be making steel for rounds, which will require more premium
grades such as busheling and will also increase the quantity
and quality of shredded scrap it purchases, a shredder source
in the area said.
"Since the shred is
not being fed into a basic oxygen furnace, it will have to be a
better quality," the Birmingham scrapyard operator said.
A local shredder said
that about 20,000 tons of the projected monthly increase could
be for shredded scrap. "That is a significant increase in shred
demand for one area," he said.
Since Fairfield will
be producing rounds instead of sheet, the market will lose a
significant amount of slitter scrap generated in its
flat-rolled production, the local shredder operator noted.
"Foundries use this grade (slitter) and will have to start to
look more toward busheling to fill this void," he said.
Changes will be needed
at Fairfields offloading section in its rail scrapyard,
several sources said. The steelmaker currently is restricted by
height and can only receive low-side rail cars, which hold less
"They will need to get
their rail offloading situation better or scrap will be too
expensive," the local shredder operator said.