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ArcelorMittal to invest $162 million in Burns Harbor steel mill

ArcelorMittal plans to invest $162 million into the ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor steel mill.

ArcelorMittal plans to invest $162 million more in its Burns Harbor steel mill.

The steelmaker will make investments in a number of areas at the mill on the Lake Michigan shoreline over the next several years, including the hot mill, an in-line temper mill, new cranes and a new basic oxygen furnace vessel.

“Improvements to the #2 battery will augment investments already underway and secure the future of the coke ovens," said John Mengel, the plant's vice president and general manager. "Steelmaking reliability will be enhanced with the installation of replacement vessels. Our product offerings will include higher strength and heavier gauge hot-roll products enabled by larger and stronger coiling equipment.

"Investment at the pickle lines will enhance packaging and shipping while the addition of a temper mill to the continuous heat treat line will improve quality. Finally, enhanced mill control features and quality monitoring equipment will help with the delivery of quality plate products to our customers.”

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The town of Burns Harbor is granting ArcelorMittal, its largest taxpayer, property tax abatements as an incentive for the new investment.

“ArcelorMittal has enjoyed a cooperative relationship with the town of Burns Harbor, and we are appreciative of the town’s approval of tax abatements for ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor and ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor Plate," Mengel said. "The town’s support helps to ensure the future of our operations, the 4,000-plus people we employ and the thousands of jobs we support."

Other new investments include $19.25 million to rebuild the No. 2 coke battery and another $140 million at the 80-inch hot strip rolling mill at ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor, which was the last new integrated steel mill to be built in the United States. The former Bethlehem Steel mill operates two blast furnaces and can produce up to five million tons of steel a year for automakers and other customers.

"In partnering with ArcelorMittal, the Burns Harbor Town Council has ensured that the lifeblood of our town will be competitive in world markets for decades to come," Town Council President Nick Loving said. "ArcelorMittal's choice to invest in Burns Harbor is a testament to the skill of the hard-working men and women of USW 6787."

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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.