Metals News
Shuttered U.S. Steel McKeesport plant gets new life
industry news
Jan 20,2017

By Paul Ploumis

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster):  Export, Pennsylvania-based Dura-Bond Industries has announced purchase of manufacturing assets of an idled U.S. Steel Corp. steel plant in McKeesport, Pittsburgh plant. The company stated that it will make significant capital investments at the facility and that it hopes to soon begin production at the plant. The company refused to disclose the financial details of the deal.

According to John Norris, president, Dura-Bond Industries, the company aims to revive the facility as a domestic mill, which will use domestic feedstock. The plant will make tubular products, mainly for the energy industry. The company will make use of the flat rolled steel supplied by U.S. Steel, ArcelorMittal and other domestic suppliers to make smaller diameter pipes. The plant will complement its Steelton facility, which produces pipes of bigger diameter.

Norris stated that the company is currently leasing the 317,000-square foot plant from the Regional Industrial Development Corp. It will consider buying the property upon completion of environmental study. The estimated up-time of the plant is 6-9 months, within which the company hopes to obtain necessary license from the American Petroleum Institute to manufacture pipes in accordance with the requirements of oil and gas industry. The plant restart is expected to provide at least 100 jobs in the region, Norris added.

U.S Steel Corp. had idled the McKeesport Tubular operations in June 2014, citing drop in demand on account of surge in cheap imports from overseas countries and slump in the oil and gas industry in general. Around 175 workers had lost their jobs then. Norris noted that there has been drastic change to the situation now. The change in US administration is expected to boost domestic manufacturing, he said. The Trump team has already announced that American manufacturers will be provided all support.

The recent favorable developments on steel trade cases have provided some sort of relief to US steel producers. The steel market conditions have also improved, it stated. As a result, the company has decided to speed up the revitalization of its facilities.

U.S. Steel had recently announced its decision to reopen the idled Keetac iron ore plant in Keewatin, Minnesota. It has already signed agreements with third party customers towards supply of iron ore pellets.

The company had recently decided to reopen the idled hot strip mill in Granite City, Illinois. While announcing the decision, the company CEO Mario Longhi had promised increased investment in US steel facilities in light of the proposed changes in regulation and tax laws announced by the American President-elect Donald Trump.

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