Republic Steel, a leading provider of special-bar-quality (SBQ) steel, announced that contracts have been awarded and construction is under way for the new electric arc furnace and related equipment at its Lorain, Ohio, steelmaking facility. The company expects the first heat of steel from the new facility to be tapped during the second quarter of 2013. The expansion is designed to meet growing customer demand for the company's high-quality SBQ steel, driven by the automotive, capital equipment and energy markets. The project will bring 449 new jobs and more than $1 billion in annual economic activity to Ohio. The existing 489 jobs at the Lorain facility will be retained.

Republic Steel's new furnace is expected to increase the company's liquid steel production by 1.2 million tons annually. The new equipment will supply both Republic's bloom and billet casters allowing for the production of high-quality SBQ bar and coil from .295 to 6 ½ inches in diameter, and 6-, 10 ½-, 11 5/8-, 12 ¼- and 13 ½-inch-diameter seamless tube rounds. Features of the new state-of-the-art EAF include: a 150-ton heat size, eccentric bottom tapping (EBT), an exchangeable upper/lower shell, a 120/135-MVA furnace transformer, current conducting arms, oxy-fuel burners, carbon and lime injection systems, a temperature/sampling system, and level-1 and level-2 automation. Major contracts for the project have been awarded to SMS Concast (for EAF process equipment), Siemens (for the yard substation and related equipment) and TES (for the furnace transformer).