USS, Kobe commit $400M to Pro-Tec

Dec 02, 2010 | 01:17 PM |

U.S. Steel Corp. and Japan's Kobe Steel Ltd. confirmed Thursday a roughly $400-million capital committment to joint venture Pro-Tec Coating Co.

Pro-Tec will use the funds to begin construction on a 500,000-ton continuous annealing line at the Leipsic, Ohio, facility, although a pair of analysts differ on whether a capacity addition is necessary, even in two years when the plant is built.

The investment is expected to create 500 temporary construction jobs and 80 full-time jobs once up and running in early 2013. Pro-Tec currently employs 230 people. The project will boost the joint venture's ability to serve its automotive customers.

Through Pro-Tec, the two steelmakers have been supplying the North American auto industry—the Detroit-area Big Three, Japanese transplant carmakers and others—with hot-dipped galvanized, high-strength steel since 1993. By adding a continuous annealing line, Pro-Tec will also form cold-rolled advanced high-strength steels (AHSS) and ultra high-strength steels for certain automotive structural parts. Automakers use this material to increase the strength and safety of their vehicles while reducing the vehicle's weight, improving fuel efficiency and reducing emissions.....

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