A large steelmaker has closed part of its operations in northwest Indiana. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report ArcelorMittal has shut down its aluminizing line at ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor West.
About 60 to 80 employees worked in the aluminizing line. However, the publication reports no jobs have been lost because ArcelorMittal restarted a galvanizing line just yards away, which had been idled in late 2014.
"ArcelorMittal is considering all options to optimize our assets in the United States and beyond, including those within Indiana Harbor, in support of the Action 2020 program that was launched at our Q4 and full-year 2015 earnings announcement," spokeswoman Mary Beth Holdford told The Times. "Action 2020 is a strategic roadmap that aims to achieve targeted financial improvements for the company by 2020. In the United States, efforts to support Action 2020 include asset and cost optimization as well as an improved portfolio of high added value products. These products will ensure ArcelorMittal is uniquely positioned with a strong technical and product portfolio to serve customer requirements."
The company has been planning to idle the line in order to shift production to its new plant in Alabama, according to the publication. The line was originally scheduled to be idled in December and is now stripped with all coil being removed.
ArcelorMittal lost nearly $8 billion in 2015. The Times reports the company is looking at idling additional finishing lines at the harbor as well. Holford said the company expects to "optimize our assets in the United States without layoffs by leveraging natural attrition."