United States Steel Corp. announced it will add around 150 full-time employees and invest $215 million to restart construction on a technologically advanced electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmaking facility in the Fairfield community of Birmingham.
U.S. Steel currently employs 750 in Fairfield, and anticipates adding the 150 additional jobs by 2020, bringing the total employee count to 900. The company previously initiated construction of the EAF in March 2015 and suspended construction later that year because of a downturn in the steel market.
U.S. Steel president and CEO David Burritt cited improved market conditions, President Donald Trump’s strong trade actions, support from the United Steelworkers and incentives from the State of Alabama and the Jefferson County Commission as reasons for the regeneration of the project.
“This investment is an important step to improve our cost structure and positions our tubular business to win over the long-term,” Burritt said in a press release. “We are committed to investing in the sustainable steel technology required to be a value-added tubular solutions provider for our customers.”
This marks another win for western Jefferson County, which last year landed a $325 million Amazon fulfillment center in Bessemer. The Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA) was a part of the economic development teams that supported both projects.
“This puts Birmingham back on the map in the steel industry, which is a backbone of our region,” said Mark Brown, Vice President of Business Retention and Expansion at the BBA. “The sustainable technology that will be used in the EAF will solidify Birmingham’s future in the industry for years to come. U.S. Steel’s investment will have a monumental impact and will drive future growth for our region.”
U.S. Steel has been making steel in Birmingham for over 100 years. Construction is expected to begin immediately, the company said, and the furnace is expected to produce steel rounds by late 2020.