JSW idles melt shop in Ohio

Equipment upgrade at EAF mill in Mingo Junction, Ohio, will continue, says the steelmaker.

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July 16, 2020

JSW Steel USA, a subsidiary of the Mumbai-based JSW Group, has filed a federal Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notice (WARN) notice indicating it is laying off 160 people at its electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmaking plant in Mingo Junction, Ohio.

The Mingo Junction mill has a long history of on again-off again operations dating back to its construction by the now defunct Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Co. in 2004.

The mill has subsequently changed hands several times, with the current owner having at times announced investments in and the restart of the plant while intermittently taking steps to scale back operations.

The mid-July WARN filing cites “unforeseeable business circumstances [facing} the steel industry that were not reasonably foreseeable” for the layoffs, which will occur from mid-July through mid-August. The circumstances almost certainly pertain to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States and the subsequent modest demand for steel.

A statement from JSW Steel USA chief operating officer Mike Panzeri seen by Fastmarkets AMM calls the idle status “temporary” and indicates the firm will “focus on completion of the ongoing capital investment project for the complete modernization of its Tenova Consteel electric arc furnace. JSW expects to bring the plant back up when market conditions improve.”