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USS restarting second Granite City furnace

Jun 05, 2018 | 05:20 PM | Chicago | Michael Cowden

U.S. Steel plans to restart the "A" blast furnace at its Granite City Works in southern Illinois on or around October 1.

“All of the steel-making operations at Granite City will be back on line, helping us meet an increased demand for American-made steel,” U. S. Steel president and chief executive officer David B. Burritt said in a statement on Tuesday June 5.

Granite City, a flat-rolled mill, has two blast furnaces: "A" and "B". U.S. Steel had already announced plans to restart the "B" furnace in June, and there had been rumors that the company might restart the "A" furnace as well.

Both furnaces were idled during a steel market downturn in 2015.

U.S. Steel said it was restarting the "A" furnace in part in response to increased demand resulting from the Trump administration’s Section 232 tariffs and quotas versus steel imports – the same reason the company gave for restarting the "B" furnace in March when the trade action was unveiled.

The restart of the "A" furnace will create 300 jobs at Granite City in addition to the 500 expected to come from firing up the "B" furnace, U.S. Steel said.

The company also reiterated second quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) guidance of $400 million.

Granite City sports annual raw steel-making capacity of 2.8 million tons per year, according to U.S. Steel's website. It makes hot-rolled, cold-rolled and coated flat-rolled steel for customers in the automotive, service center, and pipe and tube sectors.