Equipment from the 2023 “complete” closure of a carbon steel, tin, and sheet material cold-rolling mill in Pittsburg, Calif., is up for sale. It is believed to be the assets of the USS-UPI finishing plant owned by US Steel.
The mill equipment — including a pickle line tandem cold reduction mill, a No. 1 continuous annealing line, a double cold reduction/temper mill, a No. 3 electrotinning line, and a Kawasaki continuous annealing line — is listed for sale in an online auction hosted by Liquidity Services Inc. and National Machinery Exchange Inc.
Unconfirmed reports that the UPI mill had been closed or was up for sale have been circulating for some time now. US Steel did not confirm any planned closure.
“UPI continues to operate, producing flat rolled sheet and tin mill products for its customers. UPI continues taking orders and has recently signed multiple contracts,” a spokeswoman for the Pittsburgh-based said in an email to SMU.
“We regularly evaluate our footprint, but we do not have anything additional to disclose at this time,” she added.
The auction site does not disclose the name or location of the mill other than to say it is in Pittsburg. It also says the facility will be completely closed in 2023.
A West Coast source that does business with the company told SMU that UPI is still fulfilling contracts and possibly some spot orders for galvanized, pickled & oiled, and tin plate, but that the mill stopped cold-rolling production in June.
Another source said UPI has told customers it will service accounts and contracts through the end of 2023. “Everyone is under the impression … that, at some point, that steel will be coming from other USS facilities,” he added.
Although there have been no official mass layoffs, as no WARN notices have been filed with the state, the second West Coast source said that “there has indeed been a cascade of people departing UPI over the past few months … they’re running very lean.”
UPI, with an annual production capability of 1.5 million tons, is a producer of cold-rolled and galvanized sheet, as well as tin mill products, made from hot bands principally provided by US Steel.
USS-UPI had previously been a 50-50 joint venture between US Steel and South Korean steelmaker Posco. US Steel took full control of the company early in 2020.
By Laura Miller, Laura@SteelMarketUpdate.com
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