Steel Mills

US Steel Gary Works & Great Lakes Update

Written by John Packard

Because of the severity of the curtailment of steelmaking at US Steel Gary Works and the shut down of steelmaking operations at USS Great Lakes we feel it is important to update our readers and the greater steel community as to what we have learned over the past 48 hours.

First, Great Lakes steelmaking operations – which include their blast furnaces and BOP’s (basic oxygen process or BOF’s) – continue to be idle and are not producing any steel. Our understanding is US Steel is continuing to work through a number of issues which are impacting the repairs needed. USS had no new comments today regarding the situation at Great Lakes.

As you will see from another article we have produced in tonight’s issue of Steel Market Update, we have begun tracking the ice, ice breakers and individual vessels in order to gain a better understanding of the situation in the upper Great Lakes and specifically between Duluth and Two Harbors, Minnesota past Sault Ste Marie and the narrow pathways between the United States and Canada and into Lake Michigan where they can continue to Gary Works. At the moment we are aware of a convoy of 5 ships heading to the Minnesota ports to load. Once loaded they will be guided back by the United States Coast Guard and the Canadian ice breakers. We do not yet know how many of these 5 vessels will be carrying iron ore for Gary Works.

We have learned from outside sources that Gary Works is now running two blast furnaces although at reduced capacities. When we last reported on Tuesday evening the mill was only running one blast furnace at reduced capacity.

Steel Market Update will continue to follow the progress of US Steel and their two afflicted mills. If something should happen of significance on a non-publishing day or over the weekend we will post it online for our readers and if truly important we will provide a special issue on the subject.

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