Australian steel maker BlueScope announced that construction is substantially complete on capital project to add capacity of 850,000 tonnes per annum to the North Star mini-mill in Delta in US. The first coil was produced in June 2022, and we are commencing the 18-month ramp up to full run rate, at which point North Star will account for around 5% of total annual US flat steelmaking production. BlueScope said “Our growth ambitions continue, and we will now begin to assess a low capital cost hot strip mill debottlenecking opportunity at North Star, targeting a further 500,000 tonnes per annum of incremental steel production.”In December, BlueScope established BlueScope Recycling & Materials by acquiring the ferrous scrap steel recycling business of MetalX in Waterloo in Indiana and in Delta in Ohio for approximately USD 220 million. In August, a third scrap processing site was acquired. BlueScope said “BlueScope Recycling & Materials gives us a crucial presence and expertise in scrap processing. The new business unit will enable North Star to improve the quality and quantity of obsolete scrap it uses and reduce the mix of higher cost, prime scrap.”In June, BlueScope established a significant national painting footprint in the US with the USD 717 million acquisition of the Coil Coatings business from Cornerstone Building Brands. Now named BlueScope Coated Products, the business is the second largest metal coil painter in the US, with around 900,000 metric tonnes of annual painting capacity. BlueScope Coated Products 570-strong team operates seven sites, painting a range of finishes on steel and aluminium substrates for a wide range of applications, including building products and manufactured goods, as well as offering a range of value-added services. The business has a history of robust financial performance, with a sales mix focussed on US end-use segments that are attractive to BlueScope. BlueScope said “BlueScope Coated Products provides BlueScope with immediate access to the large and growing Eastern US region, along with a longer-term opportunity to further integrate our US flat steel value-chain. We expect near-term synergies, but we also see significant potential for medium to longer term growth through product development and branded products, consistent with our customer service and value proposition elsewhere in the portfolio.”Altogether, BlueScope’s total investment in the US is now around $5 billion, with nearly 4,000 employees. The business network that we have assembled forms the exceptional backbone of our US value chain and is well positioned for future growth.