Steel Dynamics Incorporated (NASDAQ:STLD) (Fort Wayne, Indiana) has some good news for the U.S. steel market: The company believes steel consumption will grow and prices will strengthen in 2021. The steel producer's fourth-quarter revenues jumped more than 10% from the same period in 2019, propelled by strong demand and tight supply dynamics. Industrial Info is tracking nearly $2 billion worth of active projects from Steel Dynamics.

Steel Dynamics' net sales totaled $2.6 billion for the fourth quarter, a 10.7% increase from fourth-quarter 2019, although full-year sales dipped 8.25% to $9.6 billion. Net income jumped 54.7% for the fourth quarter to $187.8 million, but the full-year totaled $550.8 million, a 17.9% dip from 2019. Nonetheless, Steel Dynamics enjoyed near-record steel shipments of 10.7 million tons and record steel fabrication shipments of 666,000 tons in full-year 2020.

The steel producer invested $1.2 billion in capital investments in 2020, most of which went to growth-oriented projects. More than 75% of that went to a flat-rolled steel mill in Sinton, Texas, which began construction toward the end of 2019 and has a total estimated price tag of $1.9 billion. Steel Dynamics believes the new plant is on pace to begin operations this summer. It will produce 3 million tons per year of various steel products via an electric arc furnace and two value-added coating lines, for the energy, automotive, construction and appliance sectors. For more information, see Industrial Info's project report.

"The town of Sinton provides a strategic location near the port of Corpus Christi," said Mark Millett, the chief executive officer of Steel Dynamics, in a quarterly earnings-related press release. "We have three targeted regional commercial markets for our new steel mill, which represents over 27 million tons of relevant flat-roll steel consumption in the Southern and Western U.S. and Mexico. We also plan to effectively compete with the steel imports arriving through Houston and the West Coast.

"Our customers are excited to have a regional flat-roll steel supplier. We have three customers committed to locate on site representing over 1 million tons of annual processing and consumption capacity."

The anticipation surrounding the Sinton plant has boosted hopes for at least one project from another company: Tex-Isle Supply Incorporated's (Houston, Texas) estimated $50 million tubular steel mill in Robstown, Texas. It is expected to produce 350,000 tons per year of steel tubes by the end of 2021. The company also expects to provide materials for the Sinton plant. For more information, see Industrial Info's project report.

Among other projects under construction, Steel Dynamics is improving and expanding capacity at two facilities in the steel-heavy state of Indiana. The company is preparing for an estimated $10 million revamp of an electric arc furnace at its minimill in Butler, Indiana, which began in the fall of 2018 and is expected to wrap up in the fourth quarter. The company is repairing and improving the automation/process control system on a pair of twin-shell electric arc furnaces. For more information, see Industrial Info's project report.

"The team has been operating at record levels, providing additional internal value-added, flat-roll production support and operational flexibility for our Butler Flat Roll division," Millett said in an earnings-related conference call.

Also in the Hoosier State, Steel Dynamics is preparing for an estimated $6 million expansion at its copper wire plant in New Haven, Indiana. The company expects to boost capacity from 180 million to 430 million pounds per year upon completion, which is estimated for the fourth quarter. For more information, see Industrial Info's project report.

Industrial Info also is tracking 18 maintenance-related projects that are set to kick off through the end of 2022 at Steel Dynamics facilities across the country. Click here for a list.



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