Steel Mills

Closure of Indiana Harbor West Unsubstantiated

Written by Sandy Williams

Indiana Harbor West is not on the cutting block according to ArcelorMittal USA CEO Andrew Harshaw. In response to media reports that an asset rationalization may occur involving the Chicago area mill, Harshaw said, “What I want to assure you is that we have no intention of reducing our blast furnace capacity in the United States.”

Harshaw said in a blog on the company website that he was “surprised by the news articles” that originated with a KeyBanc note to their clients.

“While it’s true that global economics, coupled with internal cost and productivity challenge, have placed significant pressure on our USA business and forced us to re-evaluate our footprint, no final decisions have been made with regard to an asset optimization plan.”

Harshaw noted that due to contract negotiations and the quite period in advance of second quarter earnings results, the company is limited in what can be said to the press. He reiterated that the rumors where just that, rumors and not a decision, and should not cause stakeholders concern.

Steel Market Update reported ArcelorMittal’s response to the rumors in its Tuesday issue: ”No final decisions have been made about potential asset rationalization within ArcelorMIttal USA. However, we are unable to comment further as we are in a quiet period in advance of our earnings announcement later this month.”

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