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Shale-Gas Could Lead to Surge in New U.S. Steel Plants

The Associated Press is reporting that the U.S. "shale-gas revolution, which has revitalized chemicals companies and prompted talk of domestic energy self-sufficiency, is attracting a wave of investment that may revive profits in the steel industry." Nucor Corp is one of "at least five U.S. plants under consideration or being built that would use gas instead of coal to purify iron ore, the main ingredient in steel."

The increase in capacity "may signal a turnaround for an industry that has suffered from overcapacity since the financial crisis and collapse in commodity prices four years ago."

Macquarie Capital USA steel analyst Aldo Mazzaferro remarked, “Other companies from around the world that consume gas may be attracted to move their facilities to the U.S. market, which would then provide even more steel consumption and manufacturing capacity. It could result in a re-industrialization of the U.S.”

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