This Morning in Metals: Production resumes at Pennsylvania steel plant

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This morning in metals news: production has resumed at Tenaris‘ steel plant in Koppel, Pennsylvania; meanwhile, Anglo American said it has demerged its thermal coal operations in South Africa; and, lastly, the United Steelworkers union commented on the Biden administration’s recently released supply chain review.

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Tenaris steel plant in Pennsylvania resumes production

Tenaris logo

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Luxembourg-based Tenaris’ steel plant in Koppel, Pennsylvania, has resumed production after a yearlong hiatus for upgrades.

“Steel production is now underway at Tenaris’s first melt shop in the United States that will soon supply steel bars for its seamless pipe mills in the States and Canada,” Tenaris said in a press release.

“The steel shop in Koppel, PA, part of the company’s strategic acquisition of IPSCO, completed in 2020, has started producing steel bars following a year-long investment of more than $15M USD in upgrades to integrate the facility into Tenaris’ global network of steel mills.”

Last year, on the heels of the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tenaris announced idling of a number of U.S. plants. In April 2020, the company said declining oil and gas prices, oversupply in the oil market and COVID-19 operational restrictions underpinned its decision.

“Tenaris’s facilities in Koppel and Ambridge, PA, Brookfield, OH, and Baytown, TX, have been or will be temporarily closed until market conditions improve,” the company said April 13, 2020. “In addition, Tenaris will be performing employee reductions and adjusting production levels at its other facilities in line with market demand.”

Anglo American demerges thermal coal business

Miner Anglo American said it has demerged its thermal coal operations in South Africa.

“We have consistently believed in a responsible transition from thermal coal, being a transition that seeks to balance the needs and expectations of all stakeholders,” said Mark Cutifani, CEO of Anglo American. “The demerger of Thungela lives up to that promise by bringing our employees, shareholders, host communities, host government and our customers along with us.”

Furthermore, the business, Thungela Resources Limited, will trade on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

USW comments on Biden administration supply chain review

Earlier this week, the Biden administration released a 250-page report summarizing the findings of a supply chain review ordered by the president earlier this year.

In President Joe Biden’s “America’s Supply Chains” executive order, he called on agency heads to initiate 100-day supply chain reviews. The reviews covered critical materials and products like semiconductors, large-capacity batteries, pharmaceuticals and critical minerals.

Meanwhile, the United Steelworkers union this week issued a statement commenting on the report.

“The USW commends the Biden administration for directly tackling the problem of our nation’s long-neglected supply chains and identifying concrete steps to shore up crucial vulnerabilities,” USW International President Tom Conway said.

“Our union engaged in multiple stakeholder meetings with the administration after the president issued his executive order in February calling for 100-day reviews into key industrial supply chains.

“From employing the Defense Production Act to ensure we have ready access to active pharmaceutical ingredients, to supporting and financing advanced battery production, to identifying sites to domestically source critical minerals, the administration’s final report makes common-sense recommendations that will not only strengthen our national security but protect and create good jobs.”

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