Gerdau Ameristeel Announces Planning Process for Jacksonville Mill Expansion



    TAMPA, FL, Jan. 24 /CNW/ - Gerdau Ameristeel Corporation (NYSE:   GNA; TSX:
GNA) announced today that it has begun the planning process for a capital
project to expand its Jacksonville Steel Mill, located in Baldwin, Florida.
    The expansion is expected to add approximately 400,000 tons to the Gerdau
Ameristeel Jacksonville rolling mill, matching the facility's recently
expanded melting capacity of more than 1,000,000 tons. J. Neal McCullohs, Vice
President of Commercial and Downstream Operations, commented that "this
planned expansion will complete our plans to have a global scale rebar plant
in Florida to serve the Southeastern United States with the highest quality,
lowest cost products in the industry. We have been a market leader in rebar in
this region and we believe this project will enable us to continue to serve
our customers long into the future."
    An engineering team is well into the planning process for the expansion;
which is expected to be completed by 2010. The primary products out of the
Jacksonville Mill will continue to be Rebar and Wire Rod.

    About Gerdau Ameristeel:

    Gerdau Ameristeel is the second largest minimill steel producer in North
America with annual manufacturing capacity of approximately 12 million tons of
mill finished steel products. Through its vertically integrated network of 19
minimills (including one 50%-owned joint venture minimill), 19 scrap recycling
facilities and 62 downstream operations, Gerdau Ameristeel serves customers
throughout the United States and Canada. The Company's products are generally
sold to steel service centers, steel fabricators, or directly to original
equipment manufacturers for use in a variety of industries, including
non-residential, infrastructure, commercial, industrial and residential
construction, metal building, manufacturing, automotive, mining, cellular and
electrical transmission and equipment manufacturing. The common shares of
Gerdau Ameristeel are traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto
Stock Exchange under the symbol GNA.

    Forward Looking Statements

    This press release contains forward looking statements with respect to
Gerdau Ameristeel Corporation, including its offering of common shares and use
of net proceeds, financing activities, business operations, strategy,
financial performance, and condition. Although management believes that the
expectations reflected in such forward looking statements are reasonable, such
statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ
materially from those expressed or implied by such forward looking statements.
Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations
include, among other things, excess global capacity in the steel industry and
the availability of competitive substitute materials; the cyclical nature of
the steel industry and the industries served by the Company; steel imports and
trade regulations; a change in China's steelmaking capacity or slowdown in
China's steel consumption; the ability to integrate newly-acquired businesses
such as Chaparral and achieve synergies; the Company's level of indebtedness;
the Company's participation in consolidation of the steel industry; increases
in the cost of steel scrap, energy and other raw materials; the ability to
renegotiate collective bargaining agreements and avoid labor disruptions; the
cost of compliance with environmental and occupational health and safety laws;
the enactment of laws intended to reduce greenhouse gases and other air
emissions; unexpected equipment failures and plant interruptions or outages;
the substantial capital investment and similar expenditures required in the
Company's business; the loss of key employees; interest rate risk; the
Company's ability to fund its pension plans; currency exchange rate
fluctuations; competitors' relief of debt burdens and legacy costs by seeking
protection under the bankruptcy laws; the accuracy of estimates used in the
preparation of the Company's financial statements; the Company's reliance on
joint ventures that it does not control; and other factors discussed in
materials filed with applicable securities regulatory authorities from time to
time.

    %SEDAR: 00000593E




For further information:

For further information: Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial
Officer, Barbara R. Smith, (813) 319-4324, BAsmith@gerdauameristeel.com

Organization Profile

GERDAU AMERISTEEL CORPORATION

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