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BUSINESS
By Hanah Cho, The Baltimore Sun | May 11, 2012
The struggling Sparrows Point steel plant will resume operations of its "L" blast furnace Saturday after it was temporarily shut down for routine maintenance, the company said. In a letter to customers Friday, RG Steel chief commercial officer Jerry Nelson said the temporary outage that began Wednesday would not have a "detrimental effect on our delivery performance. " Earlier this month, RG Steel told managers and executives, including those at Sparrows Point, that it is cutting their salaries because of weak economic conditions.
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NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen and The Baltimore Sun | September 29, 2014
Russell R. Jones, former general manager of Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s Sparrows Point plant, died Wednesday of heart failure at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson. He was 90. The son of restaurant owners Russell Wehr Jones and Noelie Delores Richard Jones, Russell Richard Jones was born and raised in Lehighton, Pa., where he graduated in 1941 from high school. His college studies at Lehigh University were interrupted when he enlisted in the Army Air Forces, where he was trained as a bomber pilot and later trained B-29 pilots.
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BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | June 8, 2012
The first big wave of layoffs hit Sparrows Point on Friday after the steel mill's owner essentially shut down its critically important blast furnace. Joe Rosel, president of United Steelworkers Local 9477, said most of the workers told not to report back to the Baltimore County mill next week were in the iron- and steelmaking departments, though he couldn't say how many were notified. Other workers, including many in central maintenance, also were notified. The "L" blast furnace shutdown that began Wednesday starts a domino effect of layoffs that is expected to affect nearly 2,000 workers - all but a few hundred at the steel mill.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | December 24, 2012
The five-pointed star, made of stainless steel and dozens of heavy-duty light bulbs, looks deceptively simple. Its symbolism is anything but. Not long after Bethlehem Steel built the Sparrows Point steel mill's massive "L" blast furnace in 1978, workers erected the "Star of Bethlehem" at the top - a reference to the longtime owner as well as to the nativity. The star has shone from on high in December ever since, its meaning slowly transforming from an eye-catching example of the steel mill's might to something deeper and more emotional.
BUSINESS
By ALLISON CONNOLLY and ALLISON CONNOLLY,SUN REPORTER | July 15, 2006
The blast furnace at the Sparrows Point steel mill should be back up and running by Friday, officials from parent company Mittal Steel Co. NV said yesterday. The giant furnace, which makes the molten iron that is mixed with scrap metal to produce steel, has been down since June 23, when lightning struck an electrical substation and cut power to the plant. The three-hour outage allowed the furnace - which normally operates at more than 3,000 degrees F. - to cool, causing the liquid metal on its walls to solidify and create slag.
BUSINESS
By ALLISON CONNOLLY and ALLISON CONNOLLY,SUN REPORTER | July 6, 2006
The giant steel-making furnace at Sparrows Point broke down Friday, halting production and forcing a monthlong temporary layoff of an undisclosed number of workers. The shutdown comes as Sparrows Point's Netherlands-based parent company, Mittal Steel Co. NV, is considering selling the plant to avoid antitrust issues related to its pending merger with Luxembourg-based Arcelor SA. The merged company, to be called Arcelor-Mittal, would be the world's largest steelmaker by a factor of five and produce more than 110 million tons of steel a year.
BUSINESS
By Andrea K. Walker and Andrea K. Walker,Sun reporter | June 24, 2008
Russian steelmaker OAO Severstal, which closed on an $810 million deal to buy Sparrows Point in May with promises to invest significantly in the steel plant, said its first major project will be to upgrade the blast furnace. The $10 million renovation will begin in late summer and the blast furnace, which creates raw steel from ore, would be shut down for about 14 days. It was unclear what would happen to employees during the shutdown. The upgrades would allow the plant to produce more steel and in turn increase profitability, the Severstal executives said.
BUSINESS
By ALLISON CONNOLLY and ALLISON CONNOLLY,SUN REPORTER | July 8, 2006
About 150 workers will go on voluntary, temporary layoff tomorrow at the Sparrows Point steel mill even though teams working to fix the giant blast furnace are making progress toward restarting it. The "L" blast furnace, which makes the molten iron that is mixed with scrap metal to produce steel, has been down since June 30. A power outage on June 23 allowed the furnace - which normally operates at more than 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit - to cool, causing the...
BUSINESS
By Kristine Henry and Kristine Henry,SUN STAFF | August 17, 1999
After a 10-week maintenance shutdown, Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s Sparrows Point blast furnace is set to begin firing up today as the flip of a switch sends super hot compressed air into the 150-foot-tall structure.Workers began replacing the bricks that line the "L" blast furnace, which pumps out molten iron that supplies the rest of the plant, June 8 and were originally scheduled to finish Aug. 1. In late July as it released second-quarter earnings -- which showed a $29.7 million loss on revenue of $985 million -- the company said the repairs would take longer than expected.
BUSINESS
By Liz F. Kay, The Baltimore Sun | October 13, 2011
The new owner of the Sparrows Point steel mill has agreed to pay a $135,000 penalty and resolve alleged violations of state pollution control laws that occurred in 2009 when part of a blast furnace ignited, state officials said Thursday. RG Steel Sparrows LLC, which purchased Sparrows Point in April, has signed an agreement with the Maryland Department of the Environment, or MDE, and the Maryland office of the attorney general to reduce emissions from the blast furnace. The money will go to the Maryland Clean Air Fund.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | June 8, 2012
The first big wave of layoffs hit Sparrows Point on Friday after the steel mill's owner essentially shut down its critically important blast furnace. Joe Rosel, president of United Steelworkers Local 9477, said most of the workers told not to report back to the Baltimore County mill next week were in the iron- and steelmaking departments, though he couldn't say how many were notified. Other workers, including many in central maintenance, also were notified. The "L" blast furnace shutdown that began Wednesday starts a domino effect of layoffs that is expected to affect nearly 2,000 workers - all but a few hundred at the steel mill.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | May 21, 2012
The struggling Sparrows Point steel mill could be sold within the next six months, mill owner RG Steel said Monday. "We're not going to be specific at this time," said Bette Kovach, an RG Steel spokeswoman, as she confirmed comments by two company executives that potential buyers were eyeing the Baltimore County plant, as well as others owned by the firm. Speaking last week to the Baltimore chapter of the Association of Women in the Metal Industries, Jerry Nelson, RG Steel's chief commercial officer, said that "people have expressed interest" in acquiring some RG Steel plants and that "I think it's safe to say everything is on the table.
BUSINESS
By Hanah Cho, The Baltimore Sun | May 11, 2012
The struggling Sparrows Point steel plant will resume operations of its "L" blast furnace Saturday after it was temporarily shut down for routine maintenance, the company said. In a letter to customers Friday, RG Steel chief commercial officer Jerry Nelson said the temporary outage that began Wednesday would not have a "detrimental effect on our delivery performance. " Earlier this month, RG Steel told managers and executives, including those at Sparrows Point, that it is cutting their salaries because of weak economic conditions.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | January 4, 2012
A letter from the owner of the idled Sparrows Point steel mill assuring customers that some operations are to resume will be welcome news, at least in the short term, an industry observer said Wednesday. The letter — dated Tuesday and first reported by industry newsletter Steel Market Update — was the first communication to customers since mill owner RG Steel closed down its blast furnace just before Christmas and then notified state officials that it was laying off about 720 workers through March 4. John Packard, founder of the Steel Market Update newsletter and website, said: "That's very important to their customers because customers don't buy slabs; customers are buying finished steel.
BUSINESS
By Liz F. Kay, The Baltimore Sun | October 13, 2011
The new owner of the Sparrows Point steel mill has agreed to pay a $135,000 penalty and resolve alleged violations of state pollution control laws that occurred in 2009 when part of a blast furnace ignited, state officials announced Thursday. RG Steel Sparrows LLC, which purchased Sparrows Point in April, has signed an agreement with the Maryland Department of the Environment, or MDE, and the Maryland Office of the Attorney General to reduce emissions from the blast furnace. The money will go to the Maryland Clean Air Fund.
BUSINESS
By The Baltimore Sun | May 24, 2011
The Sparrows Point steel mill experienced an outage late last week that caused the suspension of both the basic oxygen steelmaking furnace and the blast furnace, Bette Kovach, a spokeswoman for the mill's owner, RG Steel LLC, said Tuesday. Kovach said that customer orders would not be affected and that the plant was working to resume hot metal operations "as soon as possible later this week. " Kovach declined to provide additional details about the incident. RG Steel is a new subsidiary of the Renco Group, owned by financier Ira Rennert, which bought the steel mill from Severstal North America in March as part of a $1.2 billion deal involving three steel mills.
NEWS
By William Wan and William Wan,SUN STAFF | June 7, 2005
Walking outside yesterday into a pressure-cooker of a day, 59-year-old Daniel Pasko smiled and stripped off his shirt to reveal his summer uniform: a thick puff of white chest hair and a vast expanse of skin, ready for a tan. Finally, summer weather had arrived - made all the hotter by comparison after the third-coolest May on record in Baltimore. It seemed as though someone had opened the blast furnace door: The mercury topped out at 90 degrees in the city and 88 at Baltimore-Washington International Airport.
BUSINESS
By William Patalon III and William Patalon III,SUN STAFF | July 4, 1999
IN THE SEPULCHRAL blackness of Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s Sparrows Point blast furnace, 1,000 grime-covered workers toil in tight quarters, elbowing their way past each other on narrow catwalks encircling the armor-plated furnace or chipping away like coal miners at the brick lining that contains its 2,800-degree hellfire.Those thousand workers on the L blast-furnace project are among 8,500 at the Sparrows Point steelmaking facility this month -- a number well above normal, thanks to the 4,000 contract workers whose numbers nearly equal those on Bethlehem's payroll.
BUSINESS
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | March 17, 2011
The Sparrows Point steel mill will soon rumble back to life, according to its new owner, which on Thursday announced plans to restart primary operations at the plant this spring. Under the plan by the New York-based Renco Group, which is expected to close on an acquisition of Sparrows Point by the end of the month, 150 workers will return to work next week — bringing life back to a large portion of the hulking Baltimore County mill, which has sat idle, dark and quiet since July. It also brings hope to the nearly 1,000 workers who were laid off during the shutdown and stability — at least in the short term — to the mill, union leaders said.
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