Make-or-break time for Midland plant, ATI's Wetherbee says

The fate of Allegheny Technology Inc's (ATI) stainless steel plant in Midland, Pennsylvania, hangs in the balance, according to company president and chief executive officer Robert S. Wetherbee.

Its survival is threatened by the 25% tariff under Section 232 imposed on imports of nickel-rich steel slabs from Indonesia that are used in the mill to make cold-rolled 60-inch stainless steel sheet coils. 

"We're hemorrhaging cash,” Wetherbee told Fastmarkets. Relief must come soon, he said, or ATI will be forced to close the facility to stop the mounting losses from the tariffs, which have been in place since the mill re-opened nearly two years ago.

“We can’t allow ourselves to get to the point where we are taping thousand-dollar bills to the coils we’re shipping out,” Wetherbee said. 

The plant is operated by Allegheny & Tsingshan Stainless, a joint venture between ATI and Tsingshan Group, the world’s largest stainless steel company, based in Wenzhou in eastern China’s Zhejiang Province.

Under the terms of the joint venture, Tsingshan would supply ready-to-roll slabs from its Indonesian...

Published

Robert England

January 16, 2020

23:05 GMT

New York