After Sparrows Point’s 12 year old cold rolling mill has been sold to the Nucor Steel company for use as spare parts it becomes very unlikely that the rest of the mill will find a new operator. Local officials claim to have information that the current owner will demolish the whole site now.
The Lackawanna Steel Company was founded in 1840 on the western Pennsylvania coal fields around Scranton.
To get access to the Great Lakes waterways they moved to West Seneca a suburb of Buffalo, NY in 1900.
In 1922 the mill was acquired by the Bethlehem Steel Company which made Lackawanna the third largest steel mill in the U.S. by the 1960ies employing more than 20000 people.
The mill was closed in 1983 setting free more than 6000 employees.
Only the coke plant (closed in 2001) two bar mills (one closed in 2009) and the cold rolling facilities survived.
The mill was documented by photographer Jet Lowe for the Historic American Engineering Record of the National Park Service in 1985.
50 years ago the Bethlehem Steel Company from Pennsylvania started building a new, state of the art, integrated mill on the banks of the Lake Michigan. 3000 acres of land, neighbouring US Steel’s Gary works, were purchased and construction started in late 1962. Probably few could have imagined that Burns Harbor would be the last integrated mill in the U.S. to be built until today.
In 1964 the 160 “ plate mill was started followed in 1966 by the 80” hot strip mill. In between 1969 and 1972 two blast furnaces, a coke plant (164 coke ovens) and a steel mill, containing two 300 ton BOF vessels were started.In 1975 Bethlehem Steel’s first continuous slab caster started production. In 1978 a 110” plate mill and a third BOF vessel became operational.In 2000 the last ingots were poured.
After filing bankruptcy Bethlehem Steel was taken over by the International Steel Group (ISG) in 2003. Two years later Burns Harbor became part of Mittal Steel USA (ArcelorMittal since 2007).
1: Blast furnace C
2: Blast Furnace D
3: Ore storage
4: Coal Storage
5: Coke plant
6: Sinter plant
7: BOF shop
8: Slab caster 1
9: Slab caster 2
10: 80″ hot strip mill
11: 160″ plate mill
12: 110″ plate mill
13: Cold rolling mill