Nucor Steel Brandenburg plans to supply sustainably manufactured steel products for renewable energy projects through its newly inaugurated greenfield facility at the Buttermilk Falls Industrial Park site located in Kentucky, one of the world’s largest and most advanced continuous casting plants, which is capable of producing 1.45 million tons of slabs per year.
Jan 15, 2024
Nucor Steel Brandenburg has celebrated the inauguration of the new greenfield facility at the Buttermilk Falls Industrial Park site located on the Ohio River in Brandenburg, Kentucky. The core unit of the works is the single-strand continuous caster supplied by SMS for ultra-wide and ultra-thick slabs. It is one of the world’s largest and most advanced continuous casting plants, which is capable of producing 1.45 million tons of slabs per year in widths of up to 3.15 meters and thicknesses of 200 millimeters, 250 millimeters and 300 millimeters. With this new plant, Nucor plans to supply steel products, sustainably manufactured, for renewable energy projects. One of the most important products manufactured at this facility is Nucor’s ElcyonTM, a heavy plate product made from recycled materials, which was specially developed for the offshore wind industry and provides a domestic sustainable steel supply chain that is in great demand by the US energy sector.
SMS supplied the following key equipment for this facility: A single-strand continuous caster for ultra-wide and ultra-thick slabs, walking beam and bogie hearth furnaces, a continuous heat treatment line and heavy-plate treatment section, as well as the water treatment system. The SMS group reheating furnace was equipped with the particularly low-NOx, flameless and versatile SMS ZEROFlame burners, the stage 1 automation system, X-Pact® DigiMod Control, and the stage 2 heating optimization system, X-Pact® Prometheus. X-Pact® DigiMod Control combines the modulating control of the burner control zones with the digital control of each burner, in order to ensure the correct flame pattern and thermal profile of the furnace in all operating conditions. The X-Pact® Prometheus system enables the desired temperature profile and uniformity to be achieved for any material and steel grade, with minimum fuel consumption, decarburization and scale loss.
As a lifecycle partner, SMS has set up a repair service center at the Nucor Brandenburg site and offers repair services for continuous casting molds and containment segments as part of a long-term service agreement. In addition to the HD LASr used for caster equipment alignment in the workshop, an HD scan unit is also installed in the Brandenburg service center, which SMS can use to analyze the internal microstructure and quality of the slabs for the continuous caster in Brandenburg and for other customers. SMS group has built up a strong team of 22 employees who are able to provide mechanical and electrical maintenance services for all areas of the Brandenburg plant for many years to come.
“This represents another chapter in the long history of Nucor and SMS group, which have been collaborating closely for more than 35 years,” says Chad Donovan, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for SMS group; Key Account Manager for Nucor.