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DLA may rebuild national defense stockpile

Keywords: Tags  DLA Strategic Materials, National Defense Stockpile, Watt Lough, ferrochrome, ferromanganese, Daniel Fitzgerald

NEW YORK — DLA Strategic Materials may resume procuring materials for the national defense stockpile, and also is preparing to scale back the frequency of its ferromanganese offerings.

Several materials for procurement will be identified in the National Defense Authorization Act for 2014, DLA chief of market research Watt Lough told attendees at the Phoenixx International LP Metals Day in Pittsburgh.

Material from the stockpile has been steadily sold off since 1993, when the Defense Department determined that inventory exceeded its needs following the end of the Cold War.

"There is a renewed interest on the part of Congress and the Department of Defense to breathe new life into the national defense stockpile. We have been getting more support for some minor legislative changes to the statute that will allow us to act to procure," Lough said. "We might contract with a producer to increase their inventory, whereby we would have a first right to purchase that (material) or contracts to take some percentage of their production runs. There could also be buffer stocks that could be generated."

Such an approach would require changes to the DLA’s financing arrangements, with the agency’s revenues currently directed into government programs such as the purchase of broadcast television spectrum, he said. "Once that’s done (in 2016), we intend to ask for some legislative relief in funding these programs to go back to the transaction fund to replenish the stockpile," he said.

Proposed changes will be published in the Federal Register, and Fort Belvoir, Va.-based DLA’s 2015 annual material plan, expected to be released in November.

The agency also will scale back its ferromanganese offerings to a quarterly basis when a new schedule comes into effect on Oct. 1, 2013. Ferromanganese had been offered on a monthly basis, although no sales of high-carbon material have been recorded since April 2012.

Ferrochrome will continue to be sold on a monthly basis.

The agency is preparing to roll out a new website on Oct. 1 that will allow bids for material to be submitted through a web portal.

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