Republic Steel produces first heat from new Lorain furnace

Republic Steel, the steelmaker that describes itself as the nation’s leading provider of special bar quality steel, said it has initiated hot commissioning of its new electric arc furnace in Lorain.

Republic said the initial heats will be cast into 6-inch by 6-inch billets and will be rolled on the 9/10-inch rolling mill, also at the Lorain plant. Production on the billet caster is expected to ramp up over the next several months, with bloom cast production beginning in February.

The $85 million capital project will provide more than 1 million tons of steel annually for the production of bloom and billet cast semi-finished, bar and coil products. Republic said the project ultimately will create nearly 450 full-time jobs over the next several years. The existing 489 jobs in Lorain will be retained.

“This latest investment in Republic Steel demonstrates our commitment to exceeding our customers’ expectations, and satisfying both their current and future volume requirements,” said Jaime Vigil, Republic Steel president and CEO. “It is an exciting day for our Lorain plant, which discontinued steel production in December 2008 and is now back in the steelmaking business.”