Republic Steel to reopen Ohio rolling mill

Facility has been idled for more than two years.

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Canton, Ohio-based Republic Steel is preparing to reopen its steel rolling mill in Lorain, Ohio, according to media reports from that part of the country.

The Lorain section of the mill to be opened houses rolling mill with a capacity of 35,000 tons per month. According to an online article on the WJW TV website, the facility was idled in 2016.

The special bar quality (SBQ) steelmaking company is planning to reopen the rolling mill by the second quarter of 2019, but the mill’s electric arc furnace (EAF) melt shop will not be reopened unless market conditions warrant it.

The company is reportedly pointing to the Section 232 steel tariffs as having created improved demand for its steel from domestic sources.

In June 2018, the steelmaker touted the $12 million in investments it had made into its mills in the previous 18 months, saying, “The 232 steel tariffs have created additional demand for steel and Republic has the expertise, quality and open capacity to take on this increase in demand.”

At that time, the company said it had hired 25 new employees in 2018 its Canton facility, and was recruiting for 50 additional positions. In Canton, Republic said it had invested more than $6 million in its melt shop to increase its average production capacity from 40,000 tons per month to 75,000 tons per month.

At its facility in Lackawanna, New York, near Buffalo, the company indicates it hired 50 new employees in 2018 and was recruiting for 30 additional positions. In Lackawanna, Republic says it invested approximately $3 million in its rolling facility to increase its average production capacity from 40,000 tons per month to 60,000 tons per month.

Republic Steel describes itself as North America’s leading supplier of SBQ steel, with its products including hot rolled steel bars, cold finished steel bars, cold heading quality rod and wire and leaded steel bars. In addition to Canton, Lorain and Lackawanna, the firm also operates rolling and finishing facilities in Massillon, Ohio, and in Solon, Ohio.