Anthony Suau @ 2011
February 15, 2011
The former Ford Rouge Steel Plant completed in 1928 is now owned, run and being renovated and expanded by Russian owner "Severstal North America". This is one of five steel plants owned by Severstal in the United States and they are spending huge sums to convert it into what could be the continent's most efficient automotive steel plant.
Molten pig iron is transported from the blast furnace and poured in to a vat at the basic oxygen furnace. BOF is a steel making furnace, in which molten pig iron and steel scrap convert into steel due to oxidizing action of oxygen blown into the melt under a basic slag.
Rouge Steel fell on hard times after Ford Motor Company spun it off in 1989 into an independent steel company.
After buying the assets of the bankrupt company for USD 280 million, Severstal spent USD 350 million to repair one of the blast furnaces. The company built a new cold-rolling line which converts steel slabs into sheet metal. And it added a galvanizing line which coats sheet metal with zinc for rust-resistant body panels.
The operation assets and improvements amount to USD 1.4 billion. Add in spending on a new mini mill in Columbus, Mississippi a USD 1.6 billion operation and Severstal has placed a USD 3 billion bet on North America auto industry.