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Economy and Business

ArcelorMittal blast furnace gets a $55 million upgrade
Work will shut down the furnace for about two months

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M.L. Schultze
Courtesy of CREATIVE COMMONS: Some rights reserved by roy.luck
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ArcelorMittal steel is about to pump $55 million into a blast furnace at its Cleveland mill. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the boom in the once shuttered plant.

LISTEN: The auto boom boosts the steel business

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The $55 million will go into rebuilding one of the two blast furnaces used to melt iron ore into molten iron. Mark Granakis, president of Local 979 of the United Steelworkers, says the investment will increase capacity from 500 tons to 600 tons a day. As importantly, he says,  is the type of steel the mill will eventually turn out.

“Part of the reason why they’re doing this is so we can start making advanced high-strength steel in the Cleveland area, here. We’ll be the first ones in the United States capable of doing that for ArcelorMittal, and it will definitely increase the long-term viability of this plant.” 

The steel is used primarily for the auto industry. 

Granakis said such rebuilds are usually engineered to last two decades or more, and the last upgrade done to this furnace was in 1989, when the mill on the east side of the Cuyahoga River was still owned by LTV. 

In all, he says close to 1,900 people are working at the plant, about 1,500 are unionized.

The mill will shut down Sept. 5 and remain off line for about two months.

Listener Comments:

Great, we can do it Union and American. Greed is our common enemy. Solidarity is our answer.

Posted by: Bill Weiss (United States) on August 27, 2013 3:08AM
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