Liberty Steel USA, part of London-based GFG Alliance, plans to invest up to $25 million to install a new electric arc furnace at its Georgetown, South Carolina, wire rod mill and to improve the infrastructure of its melt shop, the company announced.  

Liberty Steel USAThe investment is expected to boost the output at the previously shuttered mill, which Liberty purchased from ArcelorMittal in December 2017 and reopened last year, the company said. Liberty aims to increase wire rod output from the site to over 400,000 st/year, it said.   

"We have a very efficient rolling mill at Georgetown and we now want to put a world-class melt shop behind it so we can achieve our goal to become the leading supplier of wire rod to the region and secure the long-term future of the site," Liberty Steel USA CEO Michael Setterdahl said in a statement.

The capability utilization of the existing hot end at Georgetown has been running significantly behind the capabilities of the more modern rolling mill, according to Setterdahl.

Liberty is working with Danieli to complete the upgrades. Design work on the project is expected to be finished soon, with installation expected to take between six and nine months once permits are obtained.

During construction, the Georgetown mill will rely on rolling billets sourced externally, including billets from Liberty's Peoria, Illinois, wire rod mill, it said.

In addition to the installation of a new EAF, the investment at Georgetown will also include new electrical systems, improvements to water and natural gas supply and ancillary equipment to support improved melt shop operations, along with environmental permits for modifications to regulated processes, Liberty said.