Nucor Steel Dock and Haul Road
St. James Parish, Louisiana
When Nucor Steel made the choice to redefine how steel was produced and pioneer the use of new ingredients, they evolved from a small steel company to the largest steel products manufacturer in the nation. In their effort to refine the manufacturing industry, they also became North America’s largest recycler. This change in business operations opened the door for SSR to support Nucor’s mission of providing the safest, highest quality, and lowest cost steel products in the world.
In 2007, SSR and Nucor began planning for expansion along the Mississippi River. This included the development of a $750 million direct reduced iron (DRI) facility, located in St. James Parish, Louisiana. Direct reduction technology converts natural gas and iron ore pellets into DRI used to produce all kinds of steel products. SSR was tasked with developing a river dock and transport system with the purpose of transporting iron oxide from a vessel to the facility approximately 6,000 linear feet inland and return DRI from the facility back to barges simultaneously.
To add to the complexity of the design, SSR engineers had to take into consideration the unique characteristics of working on the Mississippi River. After compiling historical data at the dock location SSR discovered that the river had the possibility of fluctuating 45 feet in elevation during an average year. To address the fluctuating river height, floating platforms with the ability to rise 50-60 feet above the river mudline were used in conjunction with large diameter piles. SSR also designed the 700-foo- long by 80-foot-wide by 80-foot-tall steel dock building and its foundations, over water, that cover the automated barge loading system. To ensure the longevity and sustainability of the dock and transport system, corrosion-resistant marine-grade steel was used for all structural fabrication.
After plant operations began in December of 2013, Nucor Steel Louisiana became the largest DRI plant in the world with a production capacity of 2.5 million tons annually.