In this list
Agriculture | Metals

US warns lack of transformer steel would threaten national security

Commodities | Agriculture | Grains | Shipping

Food Security

Metals | Steel

Platts Steel Raw Materials Monthly

Energy | Oil | Energy Transition

APPEC 2023

Metals | Energy | Energy Transition | Agriculture | Natural Gas | Steel | Renewables | Emissions | Carbon | Biofuels | Steel Raw Materials

Carbon-neutral "green steel" price premiums likely to be linked to carbon price: Brazil ABM seminar

Energy | Energy Transition | Petrochemicals | Oil | Coal | Natural Gas | Agriculture | Electric Power | Hydrogen | Emissions | Carbon | Polymers | LPG | Refined Products | Aromatics | Fuel Oil | Jet Fuel | Gasoline | Crude Oil | Biofuels | Renewables | Electricity

Insight Conversation: Saif Humaid al Falasi, ENOC Group

For full access to real-time updates, breaking news, analysis, pricing and data visualization subscribe today.

Subscribe Now

US warns lack of transformer steel would threaten national security


Cliffs may shut down two unprofitable AK Steel mills

US would become dependent on foreign sources for some critical materials

  • Author
  • Filip Warwick
  • Editor
  • Tom Balcerek
  • Commodity
  • Agriculture Metals
  • Tags
  • United States

The US Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security said in a Nov. 18 report that if AK Steel stops producing grain-oriented electrical steel, or GOES, a key material used in manufacturing transformers, this may be considered as a national security threat to its power grid.

Not registered?

Receive daily email alerts, subscriber notes & personalize your experience.

Register Now

US-based AK Steel – a subsidiary of Cleveland-Cliffs, the largest flat-rolled steel producer in North America – may stop producing grain-oriented electrical steel due to unprofitability, the Bureau of Industry and Security report noted.

"The threat to national security posed by imports of GOES (among other steel products) was addressed by a Section 232 investigation conducted in 2017, which resulted in the 2018 imposition of 25% tariffs on imports of steel products from most countries. As a result, imports of GOES in 2019 were dramatically lower than in 2018 (down 56%)," the report said.

It noted that while AK Steel was still a leader in the domestic market, its electrical steel operations were not profitable, in part due to years of pressure from lower-cost imports.

The report said that if AK's GOES production were to shut down, the US would be completely dependent on foreign sources for material critical to the manufacture of transformers.

"There is insufficient or no domestic production capability for certain grades and qualities of GOES that are increasingly in demand to meet efficiency standards for distribution transformers as well as general market trends toward more efficient transformers using higher grades of GOES," it said.

"The United States lacks sufficient capacity to produce transformer cores and laminations, which are the key components in transformers. Transformer manufacturers in the United States rely on foreign sources (especially Canada and Mexico) for these critical components to meet over 75% of (non-captive) demand," it said.