JSW Steel plans to accelerate its plans to overhaul its U.S. facilities in Ohio and Texas. Both plants have been idled due to weak demand and pricing resulting from COVID-19 impacts.
The plant in Mingo Junction, Ohio, will receive an upgrade to its 1.5-million-ton capacity electric arc furnace and is expected to restart production in March. Due to a deficiency of steel slabs in the U.S., the Ohio plant will change its focus from coils to slabs, said Parth Jindal, director of U.S. operations.
The pipe mill in Baytown, Texas, is scheduled for repairs to equipment as well as operational efficiency improvements that will cut costs.
“Our plan is to reduce the losses and be extremely frugal and focus on completing these projects,” Jindal said in an interview with Bloomberg. “From next year onward, we truly believe the U.S. operations will be well positioned to be earnings accretive to JSW Steel.”
The U.S. operations recently changed leadership with Mark Bush, formerly of SSAB, stepping in as CEO to replace John Hritz. Hritz is continuing his tenure with JSW Steel with a new focus on strategy and legal affairs.
Jindal said that JSW Steel Ltd. remains “very committed” to its USA operations.
“Once the modernization projects are completed and we bring down our cost curve, then we see no reason why the U.S. business can’t generate positive earnings,” he said. “It still remains an important part of our organization and all efforts are on to turn around the operations.”
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