JSW Steel USA is mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic by initiating various idling measures at its Baytown, Texas and Mingo Junction, Ohio plants. 

 

Both sites have remained operational and are designated as essential operations. According to a company statement, both sites have been delivering steel products to customers but demand for its flat rolled sheet and pipe products has softened because of government policies related to COVID-19 containment as well as the global oil and gas markets–a key consumer of JSW’s products.

 

The company’s Mingo Junction hot rolling mill and electric arc furnace (EAF) will be temporarily idled in mid-April for around four weeks. JSW will use the down time to complete some planned EAF modernization and maintenance projects. 

 

Baytown’s hot rolling plate mill will continue operations while work on the remaining activities related to its cold commissioning of Phase-1 of the $260mn modernization project are completed. A date for restarting the cold segment has not been established yet. The pipe mill at Baytown, however, will be placed under care and maintenance starting mid-May. The company plans to implement several maintenance activities during the ilding period to ensure a restart at short notice when the market improves. 

 

Additionally, the JSW press statement indicated that some employees will be temporarily laid off during this period but JSW expects to call many of them back when most operations restart at both plants in May and June. However, employees from the pipe mill could be laid off for an extended period.

 

The company will provide medical benefits until the end of the month in which an employee is laid off. The additional unemployment benefits announced under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 are expected to cushion the balance period for the affected families, the company indicated. 

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