Algoma Steel aims to resume full production following piping collapse

Officials at Algoma Steel say production levels are ramping up in the wake of last month’s pipe collapse.

Even though the plant’s blast furnace is up and running once again, management said product shipments, costs and profits are likely to take a hit next quarter.

The company said the cost of repairs will be somewhere in the neighbourhood of $20 million to $30 million, with the work expected to be finished by April.

On Jan. 20, a structure supporting utilities piping at Algoma’s coke-making plant collapsed. No one was injured and the company initially shut down blast furnace operations.

Officials said limited coke production resumed days later, and combined with existing inventory and availability of third-party coke supplies, they expect to fulfill the company’s requirements for normal steelmaking while repairs are completed.

A number of workers received temporary layoff notices after last month’s incident, and the company said it’s in the process of recalling employees.

A spokesperson said the recalls will be aligned with the resumption of steel production and will vary by department.

The company expects to return to full production within the next two weeks. In addition, officials said progress continues to be made on its electric arc furnaces, which are designed to replace the existing blast furnace and basic oxygen steelmaking operations. 

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