A greenfield boom may be in the works in the
middle of the Rust Belt.
At least two billion-dollar projects are
being considered in southern Ohio, bucking recent trends of
foreign-owned or -funded mills setting up shop in the southeast
But southern Ohio has several factors in its
favor It's not too far from traditional auto markets in the
Great Lakes area; the region has good rail and road
infrastructure; and the Ohio River provides access to the "new
domestic" automakers in the South.
Russia's OAO Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel
Works is considering building a steel mill in Haverhill, Ohio.
Plans released as part of an air permit application suggest
that the mill could one day produce about 2.5 million tonnes of
hot-rolled, cold-rolled and galvanized steel coil annually as
well as advanced stainless grades.
And a group of unnamed European investors
reportedly is considering a new mill south of Columbus, Ohio.
The $1.2-billion project would target infrastructure instead of
automobile markets, officials involved with the project have
told local media.
But there is no guarantee that either of the
much-hyped projects will materialize.
MMK chairman Victor Rashnikov has said that
his company also is considering a location in Quebec, and it
might even drop its greenfield plans in favor of a bid for AK
Steel Corp., West Chester, Ohio. Officials with the potential
Columbus-area project have said that sites in other states also
are being considered.