This Morning in Metals: U.S. steel imports plunge in February

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This morning in metals news, the U.S.’s steel import levels were down by nearly half in February, Norsk Hydro’s Albras aluminum plant in Brazil recently experienced a power failure and General Motors recently revealed new developments in its overall electric vehicle (EV) strategy.

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Steel import levels drop in February

U.S. imports of steel dropped by 47.5% in February, the Times of Northwest Indiana reported.

Import permit applications for February fell to 1.82 million tons, according to the report.

Hydro’s Albras plant hit with power outage

Norsk Hydro last week reported a power failure at its part-owned Albras aluminum plant in Brazil led to the shutdown of 25% of its capacity.

One of four production lines at the plant was shut down after a fire impacted an electrical transformer. The plant, in which Hydro has a 51% stake, has an annual capacity of 460,000 tons.

GM announces EV developments

Automaker GM continues to promote its drive toward electrification, this time unveiling new Ultium batteries.

“Thousands of GM scientists, engineers and designers are working to execute an historic reinvention of the company,” GM President Mark Reuss said. “They are on the cusp of delivering a profitable EV business that can satisfy millions of customers.”

The batteries are “unique in the industry because the large-format, pouch-style cells can be stacked vertically or horizontally inside the battery pack,” GM said in a release.

“This allows engineers to optimize battery energy storage and layout for each vehicle design,” the release continued.

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Per GM, the Ultium batteries energy options will range from 50 to 200 kWh, “which could enable a GM-estimated range up to 400 miles or more on a full charge with 0 to 60 mph acceleration as low as 3 seconds.”

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