Pittsburgh — Republic Steel expects to restart production at its Lorain, Ohio, special bar quality mill in the second quarter of 2019, the company said in a statement.
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"Republic had expected the [Section] 232 steel tariffs to create additional demand for domestic production, allowing production to begin in December 2018, however imports remain at historically high levels for products produced at this mill," the company said in the Tuesday statement.
On the heels of the 25% steel import tariff introduced by US President Donald Trump's administration in March 2018 under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, Republic announced it was positioned to restart the Lorain facility - including its electric arc furnace, casters and rolling mills - should domestic demand pick up as a result of the tariffs.
Over 60 employees have been hired and have completed training and the mill has undergone a complete refurbishment, according to the company. In June, the company announced it had invested $12 million in its operations over the course of the previous 18 months.
"We have successfully run internal production trials, and now anticipate receiving sufficient orders to support moving to a production mode in the second quarter of this year," Republic said.
The rolling mill at the Lorain facility has a capacity of 35,000 st/month and will expand Republic's size range down to 7.5 mm for carbon, free machining and alloy grades, the company said.
Republic idled the rolling mill operations at the Lorain facility in 2016.
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