ArcelorMittal to Build Electrical Steel Plant in Alabama 

ArcelorMittal Calvert, wholly owned by ArcelorMittal, is planning for an advanced manufacturing facility in Calvert, Alabama that could deliver 150,000 metric tons of domestic production capacity of non-grain-oriented electrical steel (NOES) annually, Because of its enhanced magnetic properties, NOES is used primarily in the production of electric motors particularly for the electric vehicle market. 

AM announced the plans on April 22 along with award of a key tax credit for the facility. In line with the U.S. Department of Energy’s assessment of electrical steel as a critical material for energy as part of its 2023 Critical Materials Assessment, the company has been awarded $280.5 million in investment tax credits from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. The award comes through a program which provides a tax credit of up to 30% for investments in advanced energy projects, designed to support secure and resilient domestic clean energy supply chains. 

NOES plays a crucial role in the performance and efficiency of electric motors used to power battery electric vehicles, plug in hybrid electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles. Presently, the domestic capacity of high-end NOES is inadequate to meet the projected growth of electrified vehicles thus impeding the government’s goal of achieving net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. 

John Brett, CEO of ArcelorMittal North America 

“We are extremely pleased to be selected by the IRS and DOE as a recipient of the 48C investment tax credits to produce electrical steels that will help our customers – particularly automotive OEMs — in their electrification journey, and to help reduce CO2 emissions in the environment. Expanding U.S. NOES production will support the goal of having 50% of all new vehicle sales be electric by 2030,” said John Brett, CEO, ArcelorMittal North America. 

“The planned facility aims to significantly reduce the U.S.’s dependency on NOES imports,” says Peter LeBlanc, CMO, ArcelorMittal North America. “This strategic domestic production would ensure that U.S. industries aren’t susceptible to overseas supply chain disruptions. It also underlines our commitment to be the technology leader for our customers by providing the most demanding e-motors products for US and other OEMs.” 

Also known as silicon steel and lamination steel, electrical steel is made of an iron-silicon alloy tailored for valued magnetic characteristics such as reduced energy loss and increased magnetic permeability compared to plain carbon steel for use in electric motors, generators, power transformers and distribution transformers. 

NOES, unlike grain-oriented electrical steel, is magnetically isotropic meaning that its magnetic properties are constant in all directions. The feature is important in rotating machinery, accounting for its use in making core parts for electric motors and generators which require consistent magnetic performance in all directions as the magnetic field rapidly changes continually. Grain-oriented electrical steel, on the other hand, enhances magnetic permeability in one direction, an important attribute for its use in transformers. 

Plans at ArcelorMittal Calvert include an annealing pickling line, cold-rolling mill, annealing coating line, packaging and slitter line, and ancillary equipment needed for operations. The NOES facility would be sited near ArcelorMittal’s existing joint venture with Nippon Steel, AM/NS Calvert, which is a state-of-the-art steel mill which includes a river terminal, hot strip mill, cold rolling mill, hot dip galvanizing lines, rail yard, and supporting infrastructure. Construction of a new electric arc furnace is underway at the site, located about 35 miles north of Mobile. 

ArcelorMittal Calvert is a wholly owned subsidiary of ArcelorMittal, one of the world’s leading integrated steel and mining companies with a presence in 60 countries and primary steelmaking operations in 15 countries. It is the largest steel producer in Europe, among the largest in the Americas, and has a growing presence in Asia through its joint venture AM/NS India.