Pittsburgh — US Steel will restart one of two blast furnaces and the steelmaking facilities at its Granite City Works sheet mill in Illinois to support anticipated increased demand for domestic steel in the US pending tariffs on steel imports announced by President Donald Trump March 1, the company said Wednesday.
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USS anticipates calling back approximately 500 employees beginning this month and the restart process could take up to four months, the company said.
USS will restart the 1.2 million st/year "B" blast furnace at the mill, while the "A" blast furnace will remain idled, it said. Granite City has 2.8 million st/year of steelmaking capacity.
Both Granite City Works blast furnaces and its steelmaking facilities were idled in December 2015 and the plant's hot strip mill was idled in January 2016 in response to "challenging market conditions, including global excess steel capacity and unfairly traded imports".
In a meeting with steel industry executives -- including USS CEO David Burritt -- March 1, Trump said the US intended to implement a 25% blanket tariff on steel imports, with a formal announcement to come this week.
USS restarted the hot strip mill at Granite City in 2017 and the pickle line, cold mill and finishing lines at Granite City have continued to operate in line with customer demand, according to the company.