RG to Restart Sparrows Point; Severstal Pushes Up Projects
RG Steel is preparing to restart primary operations at the Sparrows Point, Md., mill it acquired from Severstal in March. The new owners at Sparrows Point immediately began recalling employees of the facility for the resumption of steelmaking activities. RG Steel expects the blast furnace to become operational this month.
The newly formed company purchased three steelmaking operations from Severstal North America, including other facilities in Warren, Ohio, and Wheeling, W.Va. Company officials offered no timetable for restarting production at the Wheeling mill, which has been idled for more than two years. Production is ongoing at Warren.
When fully operational, RG Steel's capacity will total 7.5 million tons. Its assets include the three integrated facilities plus finishing facilities in Yorkville and Martins Ferry, Ohio, and the Wheeling Corrugating Co. in Wheeling, W.Va. Additionally, RG Steel owns 50 percent of both Mountain State Carbon LLC, a cokemaking facility in Follansbee, W.Va., and Ohio Coatings Co. in Yorkville, Ohio.
"Our plan for RG Steel is to become the leader in the manufacture and supply of flat-rolled steel and to provide exceptional customer service. We have the facilities, we have the capital, we have the talent and we have the will to succeed," says John Goodwin, president and CEO.
Severstal North America, which now operates facilities in just two locations, Dearborn, Mich., and Columbus, Miss., had been trying to sell the three other operations since last year. With the sale final, the company has accelerated completion dates for some of its planned capital improvements.
Severstal's development of the Dearborn plant includes a $740 million modernization program that consists of a new cold-rolling complex and galvanizing line targeting critical exposed applications for automotive customers and other original equipment manufacturers. The $550 million expansion project at the Columbus plant will increase annual steel production to 3.4 million tons and double the plant's galvanizing capacity.
Upon completion of the capital improvement programs, combined annual steelmaking capacity will reach 6.0 million tons, cold-rolling capacity at Dearborn and Columbus will increase to 3.6 million tons, and galvanizing capacity will hit 2.4 million tons.
"North America is one of our key strategic priorities, and we are looking forward to the prospects of growth in the most sophisticated market segments here," says Sergei Kuznetsov, CEO of Severstal North America. "The investments in Dearborn and Columbus are transformational for our company, as they will enable us to offer superior quality products and service. We are accelerating commissioning schedules wherever we can."