Nucor Steel Memphis Welcomed Into TDEC's Green Star Partnership

Tuesday, November 29, 2022 | 08:27am

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) today welcomed Nucor Steel Memphis, Inc. as the newest member of the Tennessee Green Star Partnership.

The Tennessee Green Star Partnership is an environmental leadership program that recognizes manufacturers across the state committed to sustainability and exhibiting continuous improvement in operations.

Nucor Steel Memphis produces special bar quality (SBQ) steel using an electric arc furnace (EAF). The mill, which Nucor began operating in 2009, melts recycled scrap metal and turns it into new steel products.

The steel produced at Nucor Steel Memphis contains 90 percent recycled material. By recycling scrap metal, Nucor is one of the cleanest steelmakers in the world with a greenhouse gas emissions intensity that is less than one-quarter of the global average, and one-fifth of the average blast furnace steel producer. Nucor’s EAF steelmaking process also emits less than 1 percent the particulate matter, one-seventh the sulfur oxides (SOx), and one-fifth the nitrogen oxides (NOx) compared to traditional blast furnace steelmaking.

“We are thrilled to welcome Nucor Steel Memphis into the Tennessee Green Star Partnership program,” said Matt Taylor, deputy director of TDEC’s Office of Sustainable Practices. “It is a great example of manufacturing in our state and shows that across all types of industrial activities there is a way to be sustainable.” 

“For more than 50 years, Nucor has been built on a sustainable model of recycling steel to produce new steel and steel products, and we continue to push recycled steel into products where it was never considered viable,” said Dave Smith, vice president and general manager of Nucor Steel Memphis. “We are proud to be a part of the Tennessee Green Star Partnership.”

The facility in Memphis has made significant commitments to sustainability across its operations. It has collaborated with its local power company to develop a strategy of "load shedding” for energy savings. As a large electricity consumer, Nucor Steel Memphis has agreed to have its power supply interrupted during times of peak demand in order to maintain the stability of the electricity grid. The facility saves electricity during these peak demand periods when electricity production is most reliant on high CO2 sources, and instead, operates the plant during periods of lower power demand, such as overnight hours.

In addition, Nucor Steel Memphis installed new equipment in 2021 that enabled the mill to increase its capture and recycling of used oil from 14,000 gallons to 34,000 gallons annually. The mill has also decreased its annual water usage from 300 million gallons to 90 million gallons, 100 percent of which is recycled and reused multiple times in the manufacturing process.

Nucor Corporation, the parent company of Nucor Steel Memphis, is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C. Nucor is the largest steelmaker and largest recycler of any type of material in North America. Last year, Nucor recycled nearly 23 million tons of scrap metal to produce new steel products.

To become a member of the Tennessee Green Star Partnership, a manufacturer must operate under an ISO 14001 certification, a voluntary environmental management standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization, and/or an environmental management system that conforms to ISO 14001 and must have a minimum of three years of exceptional environmental compliance with TDEC.

For more information about TDEC’s Green Star Partnership program, visit this site