TRUMP EFFECT: US Steel Plans to Spend $1 Billion on PA Factory

According to new reports, US Steel is set to announce a $1 billion dollar overhaul to the Mon Valley Works plant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Thursday.

The move is expected to bolster US steel production, and comes as President Trump’s tariffs on imported steel, as well as other policies, have boosted US steel enterprises competitively.

“This will be the most innovative steel mill in the United States of America,” stated US Steel CEO Dave Burritt, adding, “This is great for our customers, and also positions the community [in Pittsburgh] for a very bright future for generations to come.”

Burritt went on to explain that “There is nobody in the United States that has this type of technology,” with the overhaul projected to be completed by 2022.

From Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

U.S. Steel plans to announce on Thursday that it will spend $1 billion to upgrade its Mon Valley Works, a move the company says will keep the region’s last integrated steel mill operating for decades to come.

The company will build a combined casting and rolling facility — the first of its kind at any American steel mill — and a cogeneration power plant. Put together, the combination aims to reduce emissions and increase the efficiency and sustainability of steelmaking in the Mon Valley.

The facilities, expected to be running by 2022, will also make the Mon Valley Works the Pittsburgh company’s central source of base material for high-strength, lightweight, flexible steel that feeds the automobile sector.

U.S. Steel had sought to implement such technology for years; the announcement scheduled Thursday at the Edgar Thomson Works in Braddock is the culmination company-wide planning combined with improved financials in 2018, CEO Dave Burritt said in an interview this this week.

The Mon Valley Works includes Edgar Thomson, the Clairton Coke Work and the Irvin Plant in West Mifflin. Together they employ about 3,000.

“This is clearly [a] breakthrough,” Mr. Burritt said. “There is nobody in the United States that has this type of technology. This is great for our customers and also positions the community here for a very bright future for generations to come.

“This is where steel started, and this is where steel continues,” he said, sitting at a glass conference table at the company’s engineering offices in Braddock. The table is supported by a section of rail, the Edgar Thomson plant’s first product when it was built in 1875.

“This will be the most innovative steel mill in the United States of America,” he said.

The investment — possibly the largest ever at the Mon Valley Works — comes at a time of rapid development in the American steel industry, which is racing to put its profits into building new mills and rolling out new technology.

Tariffs on foreign imports of steel, imposed by President Donald Trump in March 2018, gave U.S. mills a competitive boost and lifted steel prices. It led to a dramatic turnaround: U.S. Steel’s profits in 2018 reached $1.1 billion, after the company lost $1.5 billion in 2015.