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ArcelorMittal completed a major project at its Burns Harbor steel mill, where it invested $51.2 million this year.

MC Industrial, a St. Louis-based construction firm with an office in Portage's Ameriplex at the Port Business Park, installed a new stacker reclaimer to replace one that collapsed in a snowstorm in 2014. The machine collapsed after an electro-mechanical failure caused the boom to raise up to where the operator couldn't control it.

ArcelorMittal invested $24.4 million to replace the bulk material handling machine that feeds the two blast furnaces with iron ore and sinter, according to Burns Harbor Town Council minutes. The Luxembourg-based steelmaker invested a total of $51.2 million at the steel mill on Lake Michigan this year, including a $16.5 million caster mold rehabilitation and a $10.3 million rebuild of the No. 12 boiler.

Since September of 2015, MC Industrial had been installing a new 1,700-ton stacker reclaimer that was made in Germany and China by the German materials handling systems manufacturer FAM.

ArcelorMittal estimates the new machine, which has the same capacity for unloading iron ore ships and moving materials from the ore pile, will last 30 years. 

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“MC Industrial’s technical expertise in stacker reclaimers and work history at the ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor site gave our team a solid foundation on this project from the start,” MC Industrial Project Director Phil Radin stated in a news release.

MC Industrial used a turnkey approach with the supplier and owner and communicated directly with FAM and ArcelorMittal throughout each phase of the project, Radin stated.

ArcelorMittal was trying to quickly replace the equipment, which is essential to ironmaking, so as not to disrupt operations at the former Bethlehem Steel mill on the Lake Michigan shoreline in Porter County. The steel mill was able to use its other stacker reclaimer and other methods to move sinter, coke, iron ore pellets and other bulk materials while the No. 4 Stacker Reclaimer was down. 

“MC Industrial was instrumental in the successful completion of this project," ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor Senior Project Manager Barry Felton said. "They executed well, had an impeccable safety record, met schedule and were well organized."

 

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.