Algoma Steel making the move from blast furnace to electric arc steelmaking

Sault Ste. Marie’s Algoma Steel opened the doors to the public Feb. 28 to share news of the progress being made in its transition.

Residents in the city and area took in the open house at the Northern Community Centre.

Company officials were there to answer questions and address concerns over the plan to switch over to electric steel making.

Algoma’s vice-president of strategy says the response from the audience was positive.

“We’re seeing a lot of individuals that have a history with Algoma Steel, they’re third or fourth generation of workers. And they like to see the fact that we’re investing in the facility, we’re ensuring the competitive nature of the business for decades to come,” said John Naccarato

He said electric arc steel making is a cleaner, more effective means of producing steel.

“They’ll be equipped with complete bag houses for controlling dust emissions. There will be attached scrap yard with the facility capable of supplying all the scrap that’s required. The capacity of this new shop will be close to four-million tonnes per year,” said Mark Nogalo, Algoma Steel’s vice-president of maintenance.

Company officials said the move will give Algoma Steel a competitive edge for the future.

“‘The capacity of liquid steel making matches our ability to process that into finished products. So, it gives us the opportunity to really grow the business from where we are today with brand new volume and new products that will be beneficial to a number of different consuming sectors in North America,” said Naccarato

The transition to electric arc steelmaking requires environmental approvals from government which includes public consultation and the open house.