A 700kt electrolytic-galvanising line (EGL) owned and run by Double Eagle Steel Coating Company (DESCO), a company once part-owned by AK Steel, is now part of US Steel’s Great Lakes Works following a deal involving USS purchasing AK Steel’s interest in DESCO.
The Great Lakes Works EGL, now under US Steel control, will allow customers primarily in the automotive industry to be provided world-class steel coated products for both exposed and unexposed applications. The plant utilises the patented Carosel process to electrolytically apply zinc to steel substrate and is the only North American finishing line capable of providing both EG (zinc free) or EGA (an iron/zinc alloy) coatings.
Mario Longhi, president and CEO of Pittsburgh-based US Steel, said that ‘continuing investment into our operations to provide the highest quality product critical to our customers’ success directly supports US Steel’s ongoing transformation journey’.
He said that US Steel seeks to create innovative solutions for its customers and that by increasing the operational footprint of the Great Lakes facility, the company was working to create special synergies with its automotive customers ‘as they seek to reach critical safety and fuel economy standards’.
The EGL line at Dearborn, claims US Steel, improves the company’s ability to provide industry-leading advanced high-strength steels (AHSS) including Gen3 grades, which are under development, as well as high quality exposed steel for automotive body and closure applications.
According to US Steel, the Dearborn line's attributes and the superior shape and mechanical properties of AHSS substrate from U. S. Steel's joint venture, PRO-TEC Coating Company, allow the plant and its products to set the standard for coated Advanced High Strength Steels.
The deal between US Steel and AK Steel includes a one-off payment of US$25 million for the remaining interests of the joint venture as well as the transition of assets and utilities to US Steel’s Great Lakes Works. The facility will continue to be staffed by AK Steel during a 90-day transition period while US Steel decides upon optimum staffing levels.