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USS’ Great Lakes Works declares force majeure

Keywords: Tags  U.S. Steel, Great Lakes Works, force majeure, Catherine Ngai

NEW YORK — U.S. Steel Corp. has declared force majeure on shipments from its Great Lakes Works in Ecorse, Mich., due to a number of unanticipated events, it said in a letter to its automotive contract customers.

U.S. Steel confirmed the force majeure declaration, but did not provide additional comment.

"U.S. Steel is making every reasonable effort to limit this temporary disruption of production at its Great Lakes Works," the Pittsburgh-based steelmaker said in the April 9 letter. "However, it is possible these force majeure events may result in a temporary disruption in the supply of steel to our customers."

The letter, signed by Bert J. Phillips, general manager of automotive sales and released by U.S. Steel’s automotive center in Troy, Mich., was in response to "unfortunate and unanticipated events" earlier this month.

These events included the death of a contractor crane operator working to repair the roof of its basic oxygen process (BOP) shop, an on-site government investigation, and multiple utility and industrial gas lines serving the plant that were damaged.

The company temporarily suspended the Great Lakes Works BOP shop in late March following a roof collapse (, March 28).

U.S. Steel, the largest integrated steelmaker in the United States, earlier this month told customers it was temporarily curtailing its blast furnaces and steelmaking operations at its Gary Works in northwest Indiana following "unforeseen" and "unprecedented" ice conditions on the Great Lakes that delayed the transportation of critical raw materials" (, April 3).

The supply disruption for automotive customers also comes at a time when the majority of other integrated producers are seeing tightness in their own markets.

U.S. Steel said in its letter that it will work individually with affected customers to provide updated delivery information and to identify alternative supply paths to minimize the impact on its customers.

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