Connect with us

The True Herald


Economy

US Steel ends plans for $1.5B Mon Valley plant upgrades – WTAE Pittsburgh

Spread the love

https://www.wtae.com/article/us-steel-cancels-dollar15-billion-in-improvements-for-mon-valley-plants/36301105

Spread the love

Pittsburgh-based United States Steel Corp. said Friday that it is canceling a $1.5 billion project to bring a state-of-the-art improvement to its Mon Valley Works operations in western Pennsylvania, saying the world has changed in the two years since it announced its intentions.Watch the report in the video player above. Scroll down to read Allegheny County’s response to the U.S. Steel announcement.Project permits initially stalled by the pandemic never came through, U.S. Steel has added capacity elsewhere, and now it must shift its focus to its goal of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from its facilities by 2050, it said.U.S. Steel revealed the news in an earnings call Friday morning and in an “open letter” on social media, putting an end to what would have been one of the largest industrial investments in Pennsylvania.It also said it will shut down batteries 1, 2 and 3 at its Clairton Plant by early 2023 – representing approximately 17% of coke production at the plant – to help reduce polluting emissions from equipment long-criticized as among the area’s worst polluters.”The world is changing rapidly and we’re on the ten-yard line with 90 yards ahead of us,” David Burritt, the company’s president and CEO, said in the letter.U.S. Steel said it does not anticipate laying off any of the 130 full-time workers at the three batteries, and that job reductions will come from retirements and reassignments.Two years ago, the company’s plan had been to improve its steelmaking efficiency and reduce emissions at its Mon Valley Works operations.Adding new casting and rolling technology at its Edgar Thompson Plant to allow it to combine thin slab casting and hot rolled band production into one process had been touted as the first of its kind in the U.S.The upgrade was designed to make the plant a primary source of material for high-strength, lightweight and flexible steel that feeds the automotive sector.U.S. Steel had initially expected the first production in 2022, but in the meantime, the company has added capacity elsewhere to feed demand for lightweight steel.It also had envisioned a new cogeneration facility at its Clairton Plant with an emissions control system that could convert some of the coke oven gas generated there into electricity to power other parts of the plant.The Pittsburgh Regional Building Trades Council pinned the blame for the loss of the project on unnamed local elected officials that it accused of a lack of support and open hostility toward the company and its workers.It will mean the loss of approximately 1,000 full-time union construction jobs and a longer-term threat to 3,000 workers at the Mon Valley Works complex, said Tom Melcher, business manager for the Pittsburgh Regional Building Trades Council.”It’s absolutely unacceptable that any politician or business or community leader who claims to be supportive of union jobs and a strong middle class can allow this project to be lost,” Melcher said in a statement.U.S. Steel said it is still committed to steelmaking in western Pennsylvania.Last spring, as the pandemic prompted shutdowns of large sectors of the economy, U.S. Steel acknowledged it had to delay groundbreaking until conditions improved.That delay came after the Allegheny County Health Department halted the permitting process because of the challenges the coronavirus posed to the public comment process.U.S. Steel never secured those permits, and it pointed out that, over the same time period, a competing steelmaker in another state announced a new steel mill and will be ready to make steel this year.In the meantime, U.S. Steel commissioned the manufacturing of the equipment and began site preparations, but it remains in the beginning stages of the project with over $170 million spent and equipment in storage in Pittsburgh-area warehouses.The county health department said it was “disappointed” by suggestions that its permitting process helped lead to U.S. Steel’s decision to scrap the plan. In a statement, its deputy director of environmental health, Jim Kelly, said the agency had worked proactively and closely with US Steel on the project, starting in May 2019. (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)RESPONSE FROM ALLEGHENY COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENTBelow is a statement issued by Jim Kelly, deputy director of environmental health, in response to the U.S. Steel announcement on the Mon Valley Works.”We are disappointed that there was a suggestion by US Steel that their decision was based in part on the ACHD’s permitting process. We worked closely with US Steel for an extensive period of time on this project, starting in May 2019. Certainly, COVID-19 had an impact on how all organizations operated. Neither the ACHD nor US Steel were an exception. But I can verify that we continued to work proactively to move this project along.”The ACHD has received multiple inquiries about the timeline of the permitting process related to the US Steel cogeneration facility. The following timeline shows clearly our diligence and dedication to this process.”US Steel Cogeneration Application TimelineAn installation permit for a complicated emission unit such as this can take a year to write. It involves meeting with the source, requesting and receiving additional information, reviewing calculations, verifying facts and drafting the permit. If the source submits significant changes, as was the case with this application, additional time is needed for analyses to be redone. If the permit requires special analyses, such as for New Source Review (NSR), Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD), or Best Available Control Technologies (BACT) analysis, the time is often longer.This is a rough timeline of the United States Steel Cogeneration Unit permit application:May 2019The Health Department received an Installation Permit Application (310-page document) on May 2, 2019 for the Proposed Cogeneration Project. The application was prepared for U. S. Steel (USS) Corporation by Trinity Consultants. It requires NSR/PSD and BACT analysis.June 2019USS submitted an updated Installation Permit Application (325-page). The new application included updated numbers of turbine trains (decreased from three to two trains) and Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG) units (decreased from three to two units).This updated submission requires a reassessment of the full application and all work that had already been done. It does not start the process over but does greatly impact the forward progress on the permit.August 2019ACHD staff validated and updated the emissions spreadsheet with the updated turbines & HRSG manufacturers guarantee emissions information.September 2019ACHD received an updated emissions spreadsheet from USS with a hazardous Air Pollutants emissions summary. It also contained updated auxiliary boiler capacity information, increasing it from 99 MMBtu/hr to 140 MMBtu/hr with annual capacity factor. It also includes updated BACT analysis and future emissions summary.October 2019Installation Permit Application: ACHD again receives an addendum to the application, including an alternative control scenario in which particulate matter (PM) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions controls for the cogeneration units include scrubber and wet electrostatic precipitator (ESP). As this addendum changed control devices, the completed BACT analysis must be reviewed again and was completed later this month.US Steel submitted a revised emissions spreadsheet to include the recent changes to the permit application.November 2019ACHD staff revised the PSD/NNSR Analysis to show the two (2) step approach altered in the October 2019 revised application.December 2019 – February 2020ACHD staff writes the draft permits for USS Clairton cogeneration unit, USS Clairton PEC Baghouse, USS ET continuous caster, and USS ET emergency generator.February 2020After drafting, ACHD staff began final supervisor review of draft permit, along with draft permit for PEC Baghouse, USS Edgar Thomson continuous caster, and USS ET emergency generator.Notices of public comment period were sent to newspaper and mailings; website updates done at the same time.March 2020First public comment period begins.Statewide COVID-19 Mitigation Efforts in Effect (March 16, 2020): https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-puts-statewide-covid-19-mitigation-efforts-in-effect-stresses-need-for-every-pennsylvanian-to-take-action-to-stop-the-spread/. April 2020Scheduled date of public hearing for this permit nears. USS/ACHD agree to remove the permit from public comment due to COVID mitigation measures and impossibility of having an in-person public hearing. May 2020-October 2020While permit was on pause, USS asks that effort move forward on work for other permits. Work continues for the US Steel Clairton RACT2 analysis. The plant wide RACT2 permit was issued in May 2020. USS appealed the RACT2 permit in June 2020. Negotiations began to resolve issues and public comment on modified RACT2 permit began in September 2020. Permit was issued in October 2020 and then submitted to EPA. Media reports USS second quarter loss; lags in permitting caused by COVID-19 (July 2020): https://www.post-gazette.com/business/pittsburgh-company-news/2020/07/31/The-trough-is-behind-U-S-Steel-CEO-David-Burritt-says/stories/202007310113?cid=search. Media questions whether USS $1.5 billion investment in Mon Valley Works is moving forward (October 2020): https://www.post-gazette.com/business/pittsburgh-company-news/2020/10/30/U-S-Steel-s-1-5-billion-investment-Mon-Valley-Works-Edgar-Thomson-Clairton-Coke-Works-Burritt/stories/202010300137?cid=search. January 2021Clairton cogeneration permit resubmitted to public hearing. Draft permit begins 45-day public comment.Media reports that project remains on hold as USS reports $1.2 billion loss for 2020: https://www.post-gazette.com/business/pittsburgh-company-news/2021/01/29/Mon-Valley-project-U-S-Steel-fourth-quarter-Big-River-Burritt/stories/202101290138?cid=search.March 2021Public Hearing held March 15; close of public comment period.

Pittsburgh-based United States Steel Corp. said Friday that it is canceling a $1.5 billion project to bring a state-of-the-art improvement to its Mon Valley Works operations in western Pennsylvania, saying the world has changed in the two years since it announced its intentions.

Watch the report in the video player above. Scroll down to read Allegheny County’s response to the U.S. Steel announcement.

Project permits initially stalled by the pandemic never came through, U.S. Steel has added capacity elsewhere, and now it must shift its focus to its goal of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from its facilities by 2050, it said.

U.S. Steel revealed the news in an earnings call Friday morning and in an “open letter” on social media, putting an end to what would have been one of the largest industrial investments in Pennsylvania.

It also said it will shut down batteries 1, 2 and 3 at its Clairton Plant by early 2023 – representing approximately 17% of coke production at the plant – to help reduce polluting emissions from equipment long-criticized as among the area’s worst polluters.

“The world is changing rapidly and we’re on the ten-yard line with 90 yards ahead of us,” David Burritt, the company’s president and CEO, said in the letter.

U.S. Steel said it does not anticipate laying off any of the 130 full-time workers at the three batteries, and that job reductions will come from retirements and reassignments.

This content is imported from Facebook.
You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Two years ago, the company’s plan had been to improve its steelmaking efficiency and reduce emissions at its Mon Valley Works operations.

Adding new casting and rolling technology at its Edgar Thompson Plant to allow it to combine thin slab casting and hot rolled band production into one process had been touted as the first of its kind in the U.S.

The upgrade was designed to make the plant a primary source of material for high-strength, lightweight and flexible steel that feeds the automotive sector.

U.S. Steel had initially expected the first production in 2022, but in the meantime, the company has added capacity elsewhere to feed demand for lightweight steel.

It also had envisioned a new cogeneration facility at its Clairton Plant with an emissions control system that could convert some of the coke oven gas generated there into electricity to power other parts of the plant.

The Pittsburgh Regional Building Trades Council pinned the blame for the loss of the project on unnamed local elected officials that it accused of a lack of support and open hostility toward the company and its workers.

It will mean the loss of approximately 1,000 full-time union construction jobs and a longer-term threat to 3,000 workers at the Mon Valley Works complex, said Tom Melcher, business manager for the Pittsburgh Regional Building Trades Council.

“It’s absolutely unacceptable that any politician or business or community leader who claims to be supportive of union jobs and a strong middle class can allow this project to be lost,” Melcher said in a statement.

U.S. Steel said it is still committed to steelmaking in western Pennsylvania.

Last spring, as the pandemic prompted shutdowns of large sectors of the economy, U.S. Steel acknowledged it had to delay groundbreaking until conditions improved.

That delay came after the Allegheny County Health Department halted the permitting process because of the challenges the coronavirus posed to the public comment process.

U.S. Steel never secured those permits, and it pointed out that, over the same time period, a competing steelmaker in another state announced a new steel mill and will be ready to make steel this year.

In the meantime, U.S. Steel commissioned the manufacturing of the equipment and began site preparations, but it remains in the beginning stages of the project with over $170 million spent and equipment in storage in Pittsburgh-area warehouses.

The county health department said it was “disappointed” by suggestions that its permitting process helped lead to U.S. Steel’s decision to scrap the plan. In a statement, its deputy director of environmental health, Jim Kelly, said the agency had worked proactively and closely with US Steel on the project, starting in May 2019.

(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)


RESPONSE FROM ALLEGHENY COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT

Below is a statement issued by Jim Kelly, deputy director of environmental health, in response to the U.S. Steel announcement on the Mon Valley Works.

“We are disappointed that there was a suggestion by US Steel that their decision was based in part on the ACHD’s permitting process. We worked closely with US Steel for an extensive period of time on this project, starting in May 2019. Certainly, COVID-19 had an impact on how all organizations operated. Neither the ACHD nor US Steel were an exception. But I can verify that we continued to work proactively to move this project along.

“The ACHD has received multiple inquiries about the timeline of the permitting process related to the US Steel cogeneration facility. The following timeline shows clearly our diligence and dedication to this process.”

US Steel Cogeneration Application Timeline

An installation permit for a complicated emission unit such as this can take a year to write. It involves meeting with the source, requesting and receiving additional information, reviewing calculations, verifying facts and drafting the permit. If the source submits significant changes, as was the case with this application, additional time is needed for analyses to be redone. If the permit requires special analyses, such as for New Source Review (NSR), Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD), or Best Available Control Technologies (BACT) analysis, the time is often longer.

This is a rough timeline of the United States Steel Cogeneration Unit permit application:

May 2019

Support Our News Campaign

Shop our Store

Click Here To Shop

The Health Department received an Installation Permit Application (310-page document) on May 2, 2019 for the Proposed Cogeneration Project. The application was prepared for U. S. Steel (USS) Corporation by Trinity Consultants. It requires NSR/PSD and BACT analysis.

June 2019

USS submitted an updated Installation Permit Application (325-page). The new application included updated numbers of turbine trains (decreased from three to two trains) and Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG) units (decreased from three to two units).

This updated submission requires a reassessment of the full application and all work that had already been done. It does not start the process over but does greatly impact the forward progress on the permit.

August 2019

ACHD staff validated and updated the emissions spreadsheet with the updated turbines & HRSG manufacturers guarantee emissions information.

September 2019

ACHD received an updated emissions spreadsheet from USS with a hazardous Air Pollutants emissions summary. It also contained updated auxiliary boiler capacity information, increasing it from 99 MMBtu/hr to 140 MMBtu/hr with annual capacity factor. It also includes updated BACT analysis and future emissions summary.

October 2019

Installation Permit Application: ACHD again receives an addendum to the application, including an alternative control scenario in which particulate matter (PM) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions controls for the cogeneration units include scrubber and wet electrostatic precipitator (ESP). As this addendum changed control devices, the completed BACT analysis must be reviewed again and was completed later this month.

US Steel submitted a revised emissions spreadsheet to include the recent changes to the permit application.

November 2019

ACHD staff revised the PSD/NNSR Analysis to show the two (2) step approach altered in the October 2019 revised application.

December 2019 – February 2020

ACHD staff writes the draft permits for USS Clairton cogeneration unit, USS Clairton PEC Baghouse, USS ET continuous caster, and USS ET emergency generator.

February 2020

After drafting, ACHD staff began final supervisor review of draft permit, along with draft permit for PEC Baghouse, USS Edgar Thomson continuous caster, and USS ET emergency generator.

Notices of public comment period were sent to newspaper and mailings; website updates done at the same time.

March 2020

First public comment period begins.

Statewide COVID-19 Mitigation Efforts in Effect (March 16, 2020): https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-puts-statewide-covid-19-mitigation-efforts-in-effect-stresses-need-for-every-pennsylvanian-to-take-action-to-stop-the-spread/.

April 2020

Scheduled date of public hearing for this permit nears. USS/ACHD agree to remove the permit from public comment due to COVID mitigation measures and impossibility of having an in-person public hearing.

May 2020-October 2020

While permit was on pause, USS asks that effort move forward on work for other permits. Work continues for the US Steel Clairton RACT2 analysis. The plant wide RACT2 permit was issued in May 2020. USS appealed the RACT2 permit in June 2020. Negotiations began to resolve issues and public comment on modified RACT2 permit began in September 2020. Permit was issued in October 2020 and then submitted to EPA.

Media reports USS second quarter loss; lags in permitting caused by COVID-19 (July 2020): https://www.post-gazette.com/business/pittsburgh-company-news/2020/07/31/The-trough-is-behind-U-S-Steel-CEO-David-Burritt-says/stories/202007310113?cid=search.

Media questions whether USS $1.5 billion investment in Mon Valley Works is moving forward (October 2020): https://www.post-gazette.com/business/pittsburgh-company-news/2020/10/30/U-S-Steel-s-1-5-billion-investment-Mon-Valley-Works-Edgar-Thomson-Clairton-Coke-Works-Burritt/stories/202010300137?cid=search.

January 2021

Clairton cogeneration permit resubmitted to public hearing. Draft permit begins 45-day public comment.

Media reports that project remains on hold as USS reports $1.2 billion loss for 2020: https://www.post-gazette.com/business/pittsburgh-company-news/2021/01/29/Mon-Valley-project-U-S-Steel-fourth-quarter-Big-River-Burritt/stories/202101290138?cid=search.

March 2021

Public Hearing held March 15; close of public comment period.

Subscribe to the newsletter news

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Top Stories

Trending Stories

To Top