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ArcelorMittal to sell three US steel mills

Pittsburgh (Platts)--5 Feb 2016 538 pm EST/2238 GMT


ArcelorMittal intends to sell three US long carbon facilities, including ArcelorMittal LaPlace, Steelton and Vinton, the company said Friday.

"ArcelorMittal confirms it is in discussions concerning the sale of certain long product mills in the United States, including Steelton," a company spokesman said in a statement Friday. "These discussions may or may not result in an offer being accepted. The company appreciates the importance of such developments to employees and stakeholders and will give further updates as appropriate."

He declined to provide details on how the sale fits into the company's overall US strategy, where the company is in the selling process and if there has been any interest from buyers.

In its fourth-quarter and full-year financial results, ArcelorMittal announced an overall $7.9 billion loss for 2015, and said its operations in the NAFTA region had an operating loss of $741 million during Q4 2015, including impairments of $507 million, $200 million of which is related to the intended sale of the three long product mills.

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Steelton -- which is located south of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and has an annual production capability of 1 million mt, according to ArcelorMittal's website -- is one of only a handful of mills in the Americas that makes major railway rails.

The mill operates an electric arc furnace, a three-strand continuous bloom caster and an ingot-teeming facility. It also operates a ladle furnace, a vacuum degasser, a 44-inch breakdown mill, 35-inch/28-inch rail mill and a 20-inch bar mill.

The LaPlace, Louisiana, mini-mill, which is located along the Mississippi River, produces angles, beams, channel, flats and rebar for light structural shapes and merchant and rebar markets, with an annual steelmaking capacity of 620,000 mt and annual rolling capacity of 480,000 mt.

The facility includes an electric arc furnace, ladle metallurgy station, two four-strand continuous billet casters and a 15-strand Danieli medium section mill.

The Vinton mini-mill -- which is located in El Paso, Texas, and has an annual raw steelmaking capability of 320,000 mt -- specializes in production of rebar for the commercial and industrial construction industry, grinding balls for the mining industry, and smooth rounds.

The facility includes an electric arc furnace, billet caster, rolling mill and bar mill, according to the company's website.

The company declined to say whether other ArcelorMittal facilities would take up the plants' production in the event of a sale.

ArcelorMittal has previously taken steps to divest in its US capacity. Last March, the company idled its Indiana Harbor long carbon facility, and in August, the steelmaker closed its wire rod facility in Georgetown, South Carolina.

--Justine Coyne, justine.coyne@platts.com
--Edited by Annie Siebert, ann.siebert@platts.com

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