Lehigh Heavy Forge, with its parent company WHEMCO, Inc., is investing $11.5 million into ArcelorMittal Steelton for an expansion and upgrade that is expected to increase ingot production at the plant by 25 percent.
Lehigh Heavy Forge Investing $11.5 Million in ArcelorMittal Steelton
Lehigh uses a 10,000-ton open die forging press to process the 300-ton vacuum poured ingots from the Steelton facility to create a wide variety of products for the power generation, commercial nuclear, and metals industries.
“The large ingots are all Vacuum Stream Degassed," explained Allan Robertson, vice president marketing and sales, to SMU. “That means that the molds are placed in a vacuum chamber or tank. The molten steel is then introduced into the chamber and into the mold. In the process deleterious gases are removed from the steel precluding premature failures of the final forged components. The ingots are shipped to us hot, by rail.”
The $11.5 million investment is the first of three planned investments by Lehigh at ArcelorMittal Steelton. The first phase is a 260-foot expansion of the ingot facility that will allow Steelton to use existing steel capacity to increase its vacuum pour capacity by 25 percent. The second and third phase will include purchase and installation of new equipment to respond to anticipated increased market demand.
“This announcement underscores our commitment to serving as the leading supplier of forged components to the power generation, commercial nuclear, and metals industries,” said Curly Novelli, CEO, Lehigh Heavy Forge. “We made a decision to invest in our number one supplier of ingots. ArcelorMittal Steelton is the only supplier capable of producing vacuum poured ingots of the size we require, up to 130 in. diameter and 300 tons, and they consistently provide us with quality product. Working together to schedule ingot production significantly shortens our lead time and allows us to pursue projects that have a quick turnaround.”
ArcelorMittal Steelton general manager Steven Taylor calls the investment a “win-win for both Lehigh and ArcelorMittal.”
The first phase of the project is expected to be completed by the end of November. No timetable has been set for Phase 2 and 3.
Lehigh Heavy Forge Corp., a privately held company and subsidiary of WHEMCO Inc., operates a 10,000-ton open die forging press to process vacuum stream degassed ingots as large as 300 tons from ArcelorMittal Steelton. A 3,000-ton press is used for billet and smaller forgings.
Sandy Williams joined Steel Market Update as Editor and Writer in October 2012. She is a graduate of The University of Akron with degrees in Business Management, Public Relations and a masters in higher education administration. She has experience in writing, marketing, and event planning for non-profit organizations. Sandy edits the SMU newsletter and writes articles. For more information, email Sandy@SteelMarketUpdate.com.Website: www.SteelMarketUpdate.com