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ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor supplying steel to new Great Lakes bulk carrier

The first cut of steel plate, supplied by ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor, was used at a first cut ceremony by employees of Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding and Interlake Steamship Co. 

ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor is supplying steel plate to the first U.S.-flagged Great Lakes bulk carrier built in more than 35 years, which likely will help haul raw materials to the mill after its launch.

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding and The Interlake Steamship Co. recently hosted a ceremonial first-cut-of-steel ceremony with steel plate at a shipyard in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

“The first cut of steel is a major milestone that signifies we, along with Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, are ready to begin production on this historic project,” Interlake President Mark Barker said. “We are extremely proud to build our company’s first ship since 1981 on these freshwater shores with the hardworking women and men who help power our industry and with American-made steel from the iron ore we carry on our U.S. flag fleet vessels. It’s a true Great Lakes success story.”

ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor will serve as the main steel provider for the shipbuilding project. 

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“ArcelorMittal is privileged to serve as a steel supplier for the newest bulk carrier on the Great Lakes,” said Gary Mohr, vice president of supply chain management at ArcelorMittal USA. “The expansion of Interlake’s fleet will further support water commerce and the movement of raw materials using the safest, most efficient and environmentally friendly method of transportation. The construction of a new bulk carrier is a great example of how the steelmaking process comes full circle.”

The ship, which is expected to be completed in 2022, measures 639 feet in length and unloads itself at port. The River-Class bulk carrier is believed to be the first new ship built for service on the Great Lakes in the United States since 1983.

“Our workforce is very proud to begin construction on what will become a 'homeport ship,' so to speak,” said Todd Thayse, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding’s vice president and general manager. “This large-scale bulk carrier will be built on the Great Lakes and operate right here on the Great Lakes, which creates a sense of local and regional pride."

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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.