US Steel (USS) has announced investments worth $1.2bn to improve its Braddock, West Mifflin, and Clairton Coke Works facilities. All the three facilities are located in Pittsburgh near USS’ Mon Valley Works integrated steelmaking operations.
Through this investment, the steelmaker plans to improve efficiency and reduce pollution from its operations in the region, according to a company spokesperson.
USS has already applied for permits for projects that include a continuous casting and rolling facility at Braddock’s Edgar Thomson Plant, a cogeneration facility at Clairton’s Coke Works plant, and equipment upgrades at the Irvin Works facility in West Mifflin.
USS anticipates it will break ground on the projects in October 2020. The continuous casting and rolling facility is projected to be functioning by September 2022, and the cogeneration facility is expected to be online by the end of 2022, the company indicated in a statement.
Company officials did not release data that demonstrates how much the new projects will improve air quality across Mon Valley Works plants. However, DavidB. Burritt, president and chief executive officer, USS said that the investment would not only benefit its customers, but also create “long-term value” its employees and the region.
USS has faced criticism over high levels of air pollution associated with a fire at its Clairton facility in Dec 2018.
The new projects are not connected to prior improvements outlined in the settlement agreement of June 2019, between USS and the Pittsburgh health department. A county board member voiced expectation Jan 28, to see air quality improvements related to this investment along with projected production growth that will benefit USS.
A Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce spokesperson believes the new investment will create some new jobs and provide security for the existing 3,000 or more jobs, over several years. However, the company stated jobs would not reduce or increase but would change in scope after the improvements were made.