Lehigh Heavy Forge Corporation is investing $11.5 million in an expansion program at ArcelorMittal Steelton, a steelmaking business unit of ArcelorMittal that produces vacuum-poured steel ingots. The project centers on a 260-foot expansion of the Steelton plant’s ingot pouring operation, and also involves relocating railroad tracks and utility lines, the new partners stated.
“This announcement underscores our commitment to serving as the leading supplier of forged components to the power generation, commercial nuclear, and metals industries,” stated Lehigh Heavy Forge CEO Curly Novelli.
The total value of the improvements at Steelton was not announced. Also not indicated was whether Lehigh would receive an equity stake in the nearby steel mini-mill, or in-kind compensation.
ArceleorMittal Steelton is an operating unit of ArcelorMittal, one of the largest integrated steelmakers in the world. The Steelon, PA, plant is a onetime Bethlehem Steel operation.
Lehigh Heavy Forge is a Bethlehem, PA, subsidiary of Whemco Inc., that operates a 10,000-ton press and a 3,000-ton press, and is able to process ingots weighing as much as 300 tons into forgings for shaft and pressure-vessel components, forged mill rolls, and many other products.
In the first phase of the expansion, ArcelorMittal Steelton will increase its current vacuum pouring capacity by approximately 25%. Phases two and three will include unspecified new equipment purchases and installations.
“We made a decision to invest in our number-one supplier of ingots,” Novelli continued. “ArcelorMittal Steelton is the only supplier capable of producing vacuum poured ingots of the size we require, up to 130 in. diameter and 300 tons, and they consistently provide us with quality product. Working together to schedule ingot production significantly shortens our lead time and allows us to pursue projects that have a quick turnaround.”
“This investment is a win-win for both Lehigh and ArcelorMittal,” stated Steven Taylor, general manager at ArcelorMittal Steelton. “It will enhance our ability to safely and efficiently meet the needs of an important customer while utilizing our existing capacity and efficiencies.”