Another large steelmaker is considering idling part of its northwest Indiana operations. A spokeswoman for ArcelorMittal in East Chicago says the global company is considering "all options for optimizing our assets in the United States."
In a statement, Mary Ellen Holdford says "we are internally discussing the optimization of some operations – including those within Indiana Harbor, our largest integrated facility in the U.S. – as an indication of how we might reshape the business to become more competitive and sustainable for years to come." Considerations include finishing lines within its mill at Indiana Harbor in East Chicago.
The company says its operations at Indiana Harbor make up the largest integrated steelmaking facility in North America. Its roots date back more than a century and it employs around half of ArcelorMittal’s nearly 10,000-person Indiana work force. ArcelorMittal also has locations in at the Port of Indiana Burns Harbor and New Carlisle. It supplies metals to industries including automotive, appliance and contracting.
Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report the global company is considering changes because finishing operations in the U.S. are being underutilized.
The state’s steel industry, which has long billed itself has the largest producer of steel in the U.S., has taken several major hits in recent years. In 2015, U.S. Steel Corp. (NYSE: X) announced hundreds of cuts in Indiana and elsewhere, including shutting down coke operations at its massive Gary Works property.