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FORT WAYNE, Ind. — There is a huge need for beverage cans in the United States and Steel Dynamics, which is based in Fort Wayne, is busting into the business to try and help alleviate that shortage.

As part of a $2.2 billion investment, the steel maker is planning to build an aluminum mill in Fort Wayne nearby to its current steel-making operation. With that, it will also support two centers to process recycled aluminum.

“Aluminum sheet actually has been on our radar for many years,” said CEO Mark Millett to Inside Indiana Business. “And the significant and growing North American supply deficit in aluminum flat roll makes this an ideal time to penetrate the market.”

When the new facility is complete it will be able to churn out 650,000 tons of finished aluminum products per year. Millett said their main clients will be the automotive and beverage can industries.

“There is a current and growing supply deficit, principally driving by the beverage can and automobile industries,” Millett said. “The beverage can industry itself has undergone a major expansion and requires feedstock.”

It’s seen as a huge opportunity to take advantage of, said Millett.

Millett added that many beverage companies are actually importing beverage cans to the U.S. in or to keep up with demand. He said importing only two tons of cans per shipping container is unsustainable and that his new aluminum mill will make life much easier for these companies.