US steel producer Big River Steel has successfully commissioned the second construction stage of its steel plant in Osceola in Arkansas, supplied by SMS group. Also for the mill expansion, which doubles the mill’s annual production capacity to approximately three million tons of steel, SMS group supplied the mechanical equipment, the electrical and automation systems, and the digitalization technology. Now, with the second construction stage completed, Big River Steel operates two electric arc furnaces and two twin-ladle furnaces. The steelworks has also been equipped with a further gas cleaning system as part of the project. The CSP plant has seen the addition of a second casting strand, a second tunnel furnace and another downcoiler. Big River Steel’s CSP plant produces up to 1,930 millimeters wide coil, making it one of the widest CSP plants in the world.
SMS group’s Product Quality Analyzer system is a central element of the process automation implemented in the first phase and it is equally so in the automation of the newly added units and systems. PQA monitors, documents and assures quality along the complete production process down to the finished cold strip.
Most of the hot coil produced in the CSP plant is processed into high-grade cold strip in the downstream coupled pickling line & tandem cold mill. As part of the expansion, another coil preparation station was added to the entry end of the PLTCM, and the adjacent continuous galvanizing line received an additional downcoiler at the exit end. For all newly installed plants, SMS group supplied the mechanical equipment and the X-Pact electrical and automation systems, including level 3.
Since commissioning of the new mill in December 2016, Big River Steel has been producing high-quality steels, including tube grade sheet for pipeline construction, silicon steels for a wide range of uses in energy generation and electric motor manufacturing, and advanced high-strength steels for the US automotive industry.