Severstal North America announced that it is extending the idling of its primary operations at its Sparrows Point Mill through the first quarter of 2011. The protracted economic downturn and the impact on customer orders, not only for Severstal North America but the steel industry in general, are the primary reasons for the decision to extend the idling period. In its communication with employees, the company said it was hopeful that market conditions would improve enough in 2011 to warrant an increase in production levels. While primary and hot-mill operations are idled and other mills will work reduced schedules, the tin mill will continue to operate.

Sparrows Point will also continue to provide product to a limited number of its cold-roll and coated-products customers. In connection with the extension of the idling and as required by law, Severstal North America is providing a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) notice to certain of its Sparrows Point employees, to the United Steel Workers Union, and to local and state authorities. The purpose of the WARN notice is to give those who are affected by layoffs sufficient advance notice.