PITTSBURGH Warren Steel Holdings LLC will resume steel melting after its executive team reportedly worked out a supply deal with U.S. Steel Corp.
The Warren, Ohio-based mill ceased production March 25, citing weak customer demand (amm.com, March 25). But executives at Miami-based Optima Acquisitions LLCWarrens ownerheld talks with U.S. Steel representatives March 27 and the Pittsburgh-based steelmaker agreed to purchase all the billets that Warren can produce, sources said.
It is unclear how many tons of semifinished material U.S. Steel will purchase, but sources indicated that the initial amount will be modest and then accelerate slowly. U.S. Steel has been a customer of Warren, which has an annual capacity of 500,000 tons.
U.S. Steel, Warren Steel and Optima declined to comment.
Former U.S. Steel executive John H. Goodish is a member of the board of directors of Optima Specialty Steel Inc., a subsidiary of the Warren mills parent company (amm.com, June 25, 2012). One of Goodishs responsibilities is overseeing Optimas strategic growth initiatives, but it was unclear if he helped to facilitate the deal. Goodish could not be reached for comment.
The move is not U.S. Steels first effort to lock up tons for its rolling mills. The producer signed a five-year agreement last year with Canton, Ohio-based Republic Steel to provide tube rounds to the steelmakers tubular products division (amm.com, April 29). That agreement called for a minimum of 225,000 tons of tube rounds to be supplied annually from Republics Lorain, Ohio, operations but could reach as high as 450,000 tons per year.