AK Steel plans to idle mill at plant

Last week it was a furnace. This week a rolling mill.

The AK Steel plant in Zanesville will idle its rolling mill starting June 26, according to company officials.

Alan McCoy, company spokesman and vice president of government and public relations, said the mill, which processes stainless products for the automotive industry, would be shut down for an indefinite period.

McCoy said he could not estimate how many employees will be affected because some will be reassigned to other parts of the plant, some will be on vacation and some will train for new positions.

There’s this summary of recent shutdowns from the Northwest Indiana Times

The Region’s steel production has fallen by almost 20 percent since early February and further cuts are expected as steel prices and orders continue to decline.

Steel production in the Northwest Indiana/Chicago area fell to 416,000 tons during the week ending June 4, from 537 tons for the week ending Feb. 12. For the same weeks, national steel producers decreased the amount of the capacity they used utilization by 10 percent from 91.2 percent to 81.2 percent.

Both Mittal Steel USA and U.S. Steel Corp. Gary Works have shut down blast furnaces in the past few months to cut production of hot metal.

U.S. Steel shuttered its huge No. 13 blast furnace in May, several months earlier than scheduled. The furnace is the largest of the company’s 11 operating blast furnaces, is being rebuilt at a cost of about $260 million and is expected to reopen as No. 14 in early November.

The article goes on to detail all the furnace shutdowns. You can read the details there. And that’s only one part of the US.

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