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Algoma Steel marks milestone in ‘drive toward sustainability’

Sault steelmaker celebrates first arc at metallurgical facility
(Supplied photo)

Algoma Steel celebrated the first arc at its new metallurgical facility on Feb. 22, which the Sault Ste. Marie steelmaker called a milestone in its move toward long-term sustainability.

The event took place at the plant’s second ladle metallurgy facility (No. 2 LMF), which refines liquid steel into advanced grades of sheet and plate.

The company said it was a crucial step in commissioning the refinery, which adds 100,000 tons of capacity to the plant.

“No.2 LMF is a key component of our sustainability transformation. When combined with upgrades to our plate mill, our direct strip production complex and the continual critical review of every aspect of our cost structure, these initiatives are vital to sustaining our competitive position as an advanced manufacturer in Canada,” Algoma Steel CEO Michael McQuade said in a Feb. 22 news release.

“Canadian steel has the smallest carbon footprint of any steel used in Canadian manufacturing today, and these investments will help ensure a strong, reliable supply of the grades of steel we need to build back our economy.”

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Algoma said the new 2.1-million-ton ladle metallurgy furnace “augments the existing capacity of No.1 LMF to deliver quality, precision grades, and enhances productivity to meet strong market demand.”

The work stems from a 2018 commitment by the company to invest $300 million in upgrading the facility to expand its capacity and grade capability, after it emerged from a three-year restructuring process under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA).

In operation since 1901, the Sault Ste. Marie plant has a capacity of 2.8 million tons per year, producing hot and cold rolled steel products for the automotive, construction, energy, defence, and manufacturing sectors.