Mingo Junction Steel Mill Purchase Almost Complete

Photo by Matt Saxton JSW Steel has completed most of its purchase of the former Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Electric Arc Furnace and Rolling Mill in Mingo Junction, which was owned most recently by Acero Junction Holdings.

MINGO JUNCTION — JSW Steel announced Thursday it has completed most of its purchase of Acero Junction Holdings for $80.85 million.

The company now owns most of the former Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Electric Arc Furnace and Rolling Mill in Mingo Junction. JSW is India’s largest exporter of steel with a presence in 100 countries.

The Economic Times of India reported JSW has acquired 83 percent of Acero Junction, with the remaining 17 percent being transferred after future payments. The Economic Times reported JSW will take over Acero Junction’s debt of $101.56 million.

JSW announced the proposed sale at the end of March, stating it would take 60 days to complete.

JSW Steel also announced in March its plans to invest $500 million at its existing pipe mill in Baytown, Texas.

Evan Scurti, Jefferson County Port Authority executive director, said his research on JSW Steel shows it to be a strong firm.

Acero Junction had been struggling to make payments to contractors who performed work at the Mingo mill to get the 80-inch rolling mill ready for production. Lawsuits were filed in Jefferson County Common Pleas Court over the owed money.

The Mingo facility, the largest of the former Wheeling-Pittsburgh plants, still contains the $115 million electric arc furnace installed in 2004. However, workers have not produced any steel at the plant since its 2009 idling while under the ownership of OAO Severstal.

Because of RG Steel’s 2012 bankruptcy, Buffalo, N.Y.-based Frontier Group of Cos. purchased the entire Mingo facility — including its electric arc furnace — for $20 million.

Acero Junction purchased the mill property in December 2016 from Frontier.

Acero Junction in October applied to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio for a favorable electricity rate from AEP to operate the arc furnace. The PUCO granted the request in May.

If Acero Junction hires a minimum of 270 workers at salaries of at least $81,481 per year, the steelmaker will get $26.2 million worth of electricity discounts for the next six years from American Electric Power.

Steven Guzy, general manager of Acero Junction, said the company has had to purchase steel slabs from other countries, including Canada, Brazil and India. He said President Trump’s announcement of a 25 percent tariff on imported steel would make operations more expensive. He said getting the arc furnace running would substitute American-made steel for foreign steel.

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