U. S. Steel Announces Major Investment at Gary Works
United States Steel Corporation (NYSE: X) today announced the details of its plan to rebuild U. S. Steel Gary Works' No. 13 blast furnace, which was constructed in 1974 and relined in 1991. Upon completion of the rebuild, this blast furnace will be capable of producing 9,200 tons of hot metal per day at 97.5 percent availability for 20 years. Currently the blast furnace produces 7,045 tons of hot metal per day. The rebuilt No. 13 blast furnace will be world class with many technological upgrades and will be renamed No. 14 in recognition of its new status.
The rebuild outage, which is scheduled to last 91 days, from Aug. 1 to Oct. 30, will require the skills of approximately 700 craftsmen.
"Today's announcement represents not only a major financial investment in our steel producing operation, it also demonstrates our commitment to our workforce, our customers, and the community we have called home for almost 100 years," said Gary Works General Manager Ray Terza. "This major rebuild of the No. 13 blast furnace will ensure that Gary Works remains our flagship operation in the United States, producing world class steel products for our customers and serving as an economic engine for Northwest Indiana."
"It is an honor for me to return to Gary and participate in this major economic development announcement," commented George Babcoke, managing director-engineering and research for U. S. Steel. "This investment is the largest single capital investment the company has made since the early 1990s, when the green-field construction of our joint venture PRO-TEC Coating Company began in Leipsic, Ohio.
"Our decision to invest in such a major project in Gary, Ind., would not have been possible without the hard work and leadership of our state and local elected officials. Thanks to the efforts of our community leaders, our company is confident that the economic climate in Lake County, especially as it relates to recent improvements in the tax structure, will permit this major investment to generate a competitive return. This was not the case two years ago."
No. 13 blast furnace accounts for approximately 45 percent of the iron produced at Gary Works. In order to meet customer needs during the outage, U. S. Steel is stockpiling inventory at Gary Works and will support customers from its other domestic facilities. U. S. Steel does not anticipate any layoffs during the rebuild.
The first step in steel production is to chemically reduce and physically convert iron oxides into pure liquid iron. This process is performed in the blast furnace. Through charging iron ore pellets coupled with coke (fuel) and continuously injecting (blasting) heated air, the impurities of the iron ore are extracted through heating and melting of the iron ore pellets, thus creating molten iron.
For more information about U. S. Steel, visit http://www.ussteel.com/
SOURCE: United States Steel Corporation
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