Steel Mills

U.S. Steel to Permanently Close Hamilton Works Blast Furnace

Written by John Packard

U.S. Steel CEO, Mario Longhi told analysts this afternoon that the company will close its Hamilton, Ontario, Canada blast furnace by the end of the year. The company advised they will also close two coke batteries at U.S. Steel Gary Works (#5 & #7).

The coke batteries and rolling mills at Hamilton Works will not be affected by the announcement which was made in unusual fashion during a conference call with steel analysts held this afternoon.

The Hamilton Works facility was originally part of Stelco which U.S. Steel purchased in 2007. They have a sister company located in Ontario which is called U.S. Steel Lake Erie Works.

Both plants have a history of labor strife under U.S. Steel’s ownership.

The Hamilton Works blast furnace is rated at 2,000,000 tons per year and was last relined in 1998. The blast furnace has been shut down since 2010. Only 47 non-union employees are affected according to USS spokesperson Courtney Boone.

The mill does not have a hot strip mill but does have a cold mill and two hot dipped galvanizing lines. According to AIST the cold mill was rated at 1.5 million tons per year and was a 72” wide mill. The “Z-Line” is a 500,000 ton per year automotive quality 72” wide galvanizing facility. The second galvanizing line was a small 200,000 ton per year light gauge (.010”-.0516” 24”to 57”) mill.

U.S. Steel provided Steel Market Update with the following regarding the Hamilton steelmaking operations:

Hamilton Works iron and steelmaking operations have been on temporary idle since late 2010, and our analysis has now led us to the conclusion that a permanent shut down of the Hamilton Works iron and steelmaking operations is necessary.   
•        The permanent shutdown is effective December 31, 2013.
•        The Hamilton Works cokemaking and finishing operations will continue to operate. This decision is a necessary to control our costs in this difficult global economy.
•        This difficult decision will affect 47 non-represented employees.  Those employees will be provided working notice and the company will endeavor to reassign them.  No represented employees will be impacted by the permanent shut down as they have been previously reassigned. 875 employees are at Hamilton Works.

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