South Carolina steel mill reopens after 18-month hiatus

The StateJanuary 19, 2011 

GEORGETOWN — - By next week, the ArcelorMittal Steel Mill in Georgetown will – for the first time in about 18 months – produce steel.

Starting last week, the mill fired up its furnaces and made small batches of steel as test runs for the nearly 264,000 tons of wire rod that are expected to come out the mill annually, based on market conditions.

That’s about 480,000 tons less than the mill is capable of producing, but workers are optimistic the mill will remain open.

Mark Mercer said he had “pretty much given up” on the idea that the mill would reopen. He had been working at the mill for about 21 years when it closed in July of 2009 because of a lack of orders.

But he said he feels sure the mill will stay open for more than a few years.

“If they were going to just run it for a few more years they would have just patched it up,” he said. But “I’ve never seen so much done. …They are spending a lot of money. It’s really looking good.”

Donald Davis, a mill employee for about 11 years, said he had faith all along that the factory would reopen.

“I was just waiting for it to open back up,” he said as he stood waiting to cross the street with co-worker Damien Howard. “I got my letter about two weeks ago and it was exciting.”

Read the complete story at thestate.com

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