Cascade Steel, a division of Schnitzer in McMinnville, Oregon suffered a fire on May 22, 2021. The incident was limited to the mill’s melt shop with no physical damage to other buildings and no bodily injuries.
The mill’s rolling production ceased in early June due to the event but Schnitzer expects to complete repairs and return to full operations by late August (end of FY21) or early September 2021. Cascade’s melt shop includes a 108nt (98mt) capacity electric arc furnace (EAF) and a five-strand continuous billet caster that produces about 700,000nt (635,208mt) of finished steel.
Cascade’s steel revenues for the past nine months ended May 31, 2021, stood at $317mn up 28.9pc compared to the same period the previous year and made up around 16.6pc of Schnitzer’s total revenue for the period. The mill was running at an average utilization rate of 94pc for the past nine months as opposed to 83pc in the same year-ago period.
The mill’s nine-month sales volume tallied at 423,000nt (383,847mt). The loss of Cascade’s ferrous demand eased the pressure for ferrous scrap in the Pacific Northwest Region that is sourced primarily through its parent company, which is also a large exporter.
Cascade supplies finished rebar and coil primarily to customers in the 10 western states and western Canada. The rebar and coil losses given the lead times will add pressure to the tight inventory availability of finished steel in the western US.