07/02/2023 – Highbar commissions SMS Group

New rebar minimill and option on two further plants

Highbar LLC has placed an order with SMS Group for a new rebar minimill, which will be built on a site just outside of Osceola, Arkansas. The minimill will enable Highbar LLC to produce rebar at a sustainable scale with industry leading operating costs and environmental sustainability results. Highbar has recently agreed to continue its cooperation with SMS for another two minimills in the future, each with a capacity of just over 544,000t (600,000 short tons) per year.


Highbar LLC will produce rebar on the new minimill with up to 50% lower carbon footprint compared to other leading rebar mills. © SMS Group


The minimill will feature SMS group’s “CMT” (Continuous Minimill Technology) a low-emission and energy efficient steelmaking system that supplies liquid steel to a high-speed caster that directly feeds the rolling mill in a single, highly reliable process. Efficiency is increased by the SMS group’s “Aura DC” (Advanced Unit Rectifier Assembly) powered Electric-arc furnace with All-Charge continuous feeding system and robotic solutions that improve labor efficiency. SMS Concast will be supplying a high-speed single strand caster and the link to the rolling mill will be through induction equalization furnace provided by SMS Elotherm. The rebar mill is equipped with fourteen housing-less stands and an eight-pass “Meerdrive” high-speed finishing block. SMS group’s quenching and soft cooling “TMbaR” thermo-processing systems will be incorporated into the rebar mill. The minimill will have industry 4.0 digital solutions and AI controlled processes to be future-ready to take advantage of digitalization from start-up. Design is such that natural gas is not required during the production process, a first of its kind, achieving an extremely low carbon footprint and up to a 50% reduction in emissions compared to other leading rebar mills. Groundbreaking for the project is expected to take place in Q2 2023 with start-up planned twenty-two months later.

SMS Group Inc. is responsible for new equipment sales, upgrades and modernizations for North American metals producers, and is a world leader in outsourced maintenance services for the steel and non-ferrous metals industry. SMS Group Inc., a member of the SMS Group family, has its headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and operates 21 individual workshops across the United States.

Dave Stickler, Highbar’s Chief Executive Officer, stated: “SMS has been and continues to be at the forefront of advancing the world’s steel industry in terms of operating efficiency, ever increasing quality capabilities and environmental sustainability. I fully expect the SMS-supplied rebar minimill to build on the tremendous success my partners and I have had developing many of the finest scrap metal recycling and steel production facilities in the world while using SMS technology.”

SMS Group’s relationship with the founders of Highbar stretches back almost three decades with a high number of successful projects being completed between the two partners. Jens Oliver Haupt, Chief Sales Officer for SMS Group Inc. commented, “SMS Group appreciates the continued trust of Highbar in our innovations. Jointly, we stand for bringing the most profitable combination of technology and talent to create cutting edge solutions for the industry.”