United States Steel Corp. and Kobe Steel Ltd. of Japan commissioned a new continuous annealing line at their joint venture, PRO-TEC Coating Company in Leipsic, Ohio. Through cutting-edge heat-treat and quench technology, the 500,000-ton continuous annealing line will produce the next generation of advanced high-strength steels (AHSS) and ultra-high-strength steels (UHSS) from 590 mega-pascal and higher. These new grades of steel have unmatched metallurgical properties (superior strength, flatness and formability) previously unavailable at these strength levels. The commissioning event is the culmination of a $400 million capital investment by the partners into PRO-TEC.

Announced in late 2010, the investment created 500 temporary construction jobs as well as 80 full-time jobs. PRO-TEC will now process some of the strongest and most formable grades of steel in North America. These new grades will assist automotive manufacturers in reaching the 2025 Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards of 54.5 mpg for their passenger vehicle fleets and maintain the rigorous safety standards that consumers demand.