Home-grown cheaper

Jun 02, 2002 | 08:15 PM |

The $70-per-ton increase in world slab prices since the end of last year has convinced at least one steelmaker to produce more semifinished in-house. Oregon Steel Mills Inc. has been adding "a few more days" at its Portland melt shop. Steve Rowan, vice president of material and transportation, noted recently that scrap costs had risen by a comparatively lesser degree--$10 to $15 per ton--making the economics of in-house slab more competitive with outside feedstock. "At current prices, we can make slab quite a bit cheaper," Rowan said. The mini-mill produced 475,000 tons at its melt shop last year and has a published capacity of 840,000 tons. Plans call for its 2002 outside slab purchases to be 500,000 to 600,000 tons this year at the Oregon Steel division, which produces plate and large-diameter pipe.

Mo money

Mo Ahmadzadeh, one time boss of Rudolf Wolff in New York, has joined Framework Investment Group as director of metals trading. Framework describes itself as an alternative investment management firm focused on the incubation and acceleration of hedge funds. Framework's chief executive officer, Andrew W. Gitlin, is the founder and former chief executive officer of AIG International Asset Management.

Sticky business

During a recent tour of Ispat Inland Inc.'s facilities, an AMM reporter noticed that upon leaving North America's largest blast furnace facility a thick, bubbly, black substance had adhered with ferocious tenacity to the bottom of her stylish, black, Nine-West boots. After repeated attempts, the reporter realized that the material could be not be scraped off by even the sharpest implement without removing the entire (and obviously cheap) sole, and made a mental note to ask for a pay increase. Shortly afterwards, she received an e-mail from Inland's keen-eyed media relations and employee communications manager, David C. Allen, reassuring her that he had checked with the company's legal department and "we've decided not to prosecute for the theft of slag from the plant." Allen then generously offered to have the bill for a replacement pair of boots sent to him.....

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