Aug. 19, 2015
U.S. Steel to Close Alabama Blast Furnace
United States Steel Corp. plans to permanently close the blast furnace and steelmaking operations, plus most flat-rolled finishing operations, at its Fairfield Works facility in Alabama.
"We have made some difficult decisions over the last year as part of our portfolio optimization," says Mario Longhi, U.S. Steel president and CEO. "We have determined that the permanent shutdown of the Fairfield Works blast furnace is necessary to improve the overall efficiency and cost structure of our flat-rolled segment."
Under this action, the blast furnace and associated steelmaking operations will be idled. Those facilities, and the finishing operations, will be permanently closed after Nov. 17.
Facilities to be shut down include the hot-strip mill, the pickle line, cold mill, annealing facility, and stretch and temper line. The slab and rounds casters, the No. 5 coating line and the Double G hot-dip galvanizing joint venture in nearby Jackson, Miss., will continue to operate. The decision does not affect the Fairfield Tubular Operations or the electric arc furnace construction project.
This plan was initiated after careful market analysis of the company's current and long-term global operational competitiveness, management claims. Construction of the EAF at Fairfield Works in place of the facility's existing blast furnace was included in that analysis.