JSW Steel USA will hold off on constructing a new electric-arc furnace at its mill in Baytown, Texas, until market conditions improve.
"JSW USA is fully under way in modernizing the plate mill at Baytown, Texas, but given current market conditions and the prevailing policy environment, the company has decided to put on hold the backward integration project of installing an electric-arc furnace and slab caster at Baytown," a JSW spokesperson confirmed to Fastmarkets.
The steelmaker broke ground on the new EAF at Baytown last October and the furnace was expected to be complete by mid-2020. While there is no new timeline on when the installation will resume, the spokesperson noted that JSW has already invested $250 million in the modernization of the Baytown plate mill.
"JSW USA remains committed to being a fully melt and manufactured enterprise in the US and we are working on ramping up our mill at Mingo Junction [in Ohio]," the spokesperson said.
JSW Steel Ltd joint managing director and group chief financial officer Seshagiri Rao said during an earnings call on Thursday August 1 that the first phase of the Baytown plate mill's modernization will be complete this month and this is expected to improve yield.
"Instead of waiting until the backward integration at Baytown is complete, we wanted to integrate Mingo Junction with Baytown. So we started supplying slabs from Mingo Junction to Baytown," Rao said.
Fastmarkets' latest assessment for steel cut-to-length plate carbon grade, fob mill US was at $35.50 per hundredweight ($710 per short ton) on August 16, unchanged from August 9.