Mittal Steel news from Jan - Jun 2005
| Jun 30: PRODUCTION CUT |
Mittal Steel will make less steel in the third quarter, but without shutdowns
No more shutdowns in U.S., Mittal Steel says
CLEVELAND -- "Mittal Steel Co. said Wednesday that it will produce about a million fewer tons worldwide in the third quarter. However, that will be accomplished without further shutdowns of U.S. operations, a company spokesman said... 'We have a number of blast furnaces down around the company and have said from the beginning that they will come back as the market tells us to bring them back,' said Dave Allen, spokesman for Mittal Steel USA in Chicago. Prices are dropping as U.S. demand for imports slows and world output surges. Shipments by U.S. Steel Corp. and Nucor Corp. also have declined because of lower demand, the American Iron and Steel Institute reported this month," Roger Mezger, Cleveland Plain Dealer.
| Jun 29:
Technology helps steelmakers stay competitive globally|
MONROEVILLE, PA -- "Integrated producers worldwide these days are dealing with a shortage of raw materials, mainly iron ore and coal. The shortage, combined with a worldwide spike in demand for finished steel, has meant a huge increase in production costs. Those costs have been passed along to steel users such as automakers and construction companies, which pass them on to consumers. Ross, the financier known for buying bankrupt steel mills and merging them into Netherlands-based Mittal Steel, said technology may help reverse that trend. For example, he noted Mittal, the world's largest steel company, is involved in developing a substitute for scrap steel. The next big thing in technology may be figuring out a better way to finish a steel sheet's surface by coating it to protect it from corrosion, a process known as galvanizing. There's a battle going on within the industry, including at the U.S. Steel lab, to be the first company to do that," M.R. Kropko, Detroit Free Press.
Jun 27: Mittal Steel: Are you listening?
17,000 people have something to say to you
Jun 23: World's top steel exporting countries, first quarter 2005|
| Jun 20:
Mittal Steel's pollution controls outdated|
CLEVELAND -- "This chart shows the 15 major sources of air pollution from the Mittal Cleveland Works plant, as reported to the Ohio EPA in the plants 2004 Title V emissions fee report. The chart lists the eight main air pollutants that are required to be reported from these sources, including particulate matter, invisible particulates, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, organic chemicals, volatile organic chemicals, and lead. If the particulate emissions units at the plant have a control method installed to reduce pollution, the process, device installed, and year of installation are listed. Of the pollution control devices that are installed at the facility, the oldest device that is still used today was installed in 1943. The newest device that is used today was installed in 1990. Most of the devices were installed in the 1970s and 1980s," Dana Paris, Ohio Citizen Action.
| Jun 14:
VANDERBIJLPARK, SOUTH AFRICA -- "The Steel Valley residents claim water, land and air pollution caused by Mittal Steel, formerly Iscor, is giving them cancers, skin infections and kidney diseases. They also tell numerous horror stories of deformities among animals. The steel factory has slimes dams covering about 140 hectares that are not lined, and polluted water is seeping into aquifers, the research report states. The dust from slag heaps at the perimeter of the property blows off and settles kilometres away. Low-grade coal used for power generation and the smelting of iron ore release sulphurous compounds into the air. Nearly 40% of 100 residents who underwent medical tests had traces of cadmium in their blood, according to the Friends of Steel Valley. Some children have learning problems, are chronically fatigued and suffer from memory loss and lung ailments," Fiona Macleod and Yolandi Groenewald, South Africa Mail & Guardian Online.
VANDERBIJLPARK, SOUTH AFRICA -- Mittal Steel and Lanxess given 'Corpse Award', press release, groundWork.org.
Biggest and for sale? Ask Mittal; Baron checks out Oracle chief's yacht, makes a splash|
LONDON, ENGLAND -- "Steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal has been shown around a mega-yacht on three occasions, thereby encouraging speculation that he may wish to buy it. Reports say he has visited the Rising Sun, which is described as the biggest private yacht in the world and is owned by Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison. . . The problem is that Mittal already has a yacht, which is sometimes used by his risen son, Aditya Mittal (who threw a party with his father in Cannes last month). It was also once moored outside Goa. . .He has the most expensive private residence in the world, in Kensington Palace Gardens, but has so far not moved in. The latest estimates suggest it was acquired for £60 million, though the renovations, currently under way, will cost extra. 'It's 138 metres (452 ft) long and, while there are bigger models currently in design, Rising Sun is the biggest private yacht in the world. Ellison hasn't directly put it up for sale, but he's made it known that he's open to offers, somewhere just over the $200-million mark. It's safe to say only serious players need apply.'. . . Ellison apparently ordered his yacht stretched by 65 ft during construction specifically to outdo a 414-ft vessel being built by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen," Amit Roy, Calcutta Telegraph.
| Jun 7: Student hand-delivers 458 straws from steel plant neighbors to Lakshmi Mittal's London headquarters
LONDON, ENGLAND-- "University of Akron student Claire Ryder delivered 458 individual messages with a drinking straw attached to each from Mittal Cleveland Works neighbors to Mittal Steel's headquarters yesterday. The message read, 'Dear Mr. Mittal, Please breathe through this straw for 60 seconds to see what it is like to have asthma. Pollutants from the Mittal Cleveland Works aggravate asthma for the 390,000 residents who live within five miles of the plant. Did you know that this plant's emissions of sulfur dioxide and small particulates, which can trigger asthma, increased by 38% from 2003 to 2004? It's time for you to invest in modernizing the Cleveland Works Plant to prevent pollution.' The package also included a letter from Tremont community leaders inviting Lakshi Mittal to meet with them," Ohio Citizen Action.
May 30: Clearing the Air: How epidemiology, engineering, and experiment fingered fine particles as airborne killers
CAMBRIDGE, MA -- "In the early 1990s, epidemiological research at the [Harvard School of Public Health] began to suggest that fine particles from combustion sources such as power plants and vehicles (known as PM2.5, or particles that are 2.5 microns or smaller in diameter) are more dangerous to human health than large particles or typical outdoor levels of pollutant gases such as ozone, sulfur dioxide, and carbon monoxide. Researchers comparing air quality in six cities across the United States were stunned when their data showed that people living in cities with the dirtiest air died on average two years earlier than residents of cities with the cleanest air. The difference in death rates was linked to elevated levels of fine-particle pollution. In public-health terms, a two-year shift in life expectancy is enormous -- comparable to the protective effects of proper diet and exercise," Jonathan Shaw, Harvard Magazine, May-June 2005, 977 KB pdf.
May 29: Latest steel slump doesn't stir panic
PITTSBURGH, PA -- "[Last year] pent-up demand in China caused a sharp run-up in prices for iron ore, scrap and other raw materials used to make steel. It also raised fears of steel shortages, a dilemma that was inconceivable just a few years earlier. The combination of those two forces led steel users to order much more steel than they needed. 'Last year's excesses became this year's excess inventories,' says Bradford Research's Charles Bradford. 'Prices are weakening and they're weakening each week some more,'" Len Boselovic, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
May 28: Mittal says steel price slump won’t wipe out profit
NEW YORK, NY -- "Other investors worry that Mr Mittal, 54, is expanding in the U.S. market at just the wrong time. Shares of Mittal Steel closed at $24.80 on Friday—a 36% decline since the start of the year that’s cut more than $8 billion from Mr Mittal’s net worth. Benchmark steel prices in Europe have fallen 10% to $535 a ton from their peak of $592 on October 13. Iron ore costs are soaring, and China has started to export steel. . . Mittal Steel announced it would cut production by an undisclosed amount in the second quarter because of falling steel prices, adding that higher energy and iron ore costs would shave $25 to $30 from its profit for every ton of steel produced. In 2004, Mittal’s plants in North and Central America earned $87 of operating profit per ton, while his mills in Africa and Kazakhstan averaged $202 a ton," Simon Clark, Matthew Craze, Bloomberg News Service.
May 25: Mittal Steel neighbor's scathing log
CLEVELAND -- A three-page log arrived in Ohio Citizen Action's Cleveland office on Monday, May 23. It was unattributed, but the content makes it clear that the author lives in Cleveland's Tremont neighborhood next to Mittal Steel. ". . .5:30 AM. Had to put earplugs in to go to sleep last night. Woke up at 5 am, took them out, and surprise, surprise, the noise is at its worst. It seems like the pattern is that once the noise starts at night, it will go through the night and on through rush hour the next day. . . . Why would someone want to live in Cleveland and smell and listen to Mittal? New folks in Tremont pay big money for this new housing, only to be disillusioned by the noise and air quality. These are the people who might actually have money to donate to a campaign. But they live here a year or so and them move out because of the awful noise and smell and the failure of the city to address this quality of life issue. What does it matter if you have charming bistros/galleries within walking distance if the air is too putrid to walk there, and you have to shout to the person you're talking to because it sounds like an airplane is overhead?"
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA -- Steel stocks trashed. "Steel stocks fell across the world on Wednesday, as fears over softening demand eroded investor confidence yet again. Mittal Steel South Africa closed down 5% on Wednesday, at R49.05 [$7.56] a share, off 29% from its 12-month high. In mid-day trading on Wall Street, parent company Mittal Steel, the world’s No 1 steelmaker by volume, was 4.7% off at $23.50 a share, 46% off its 12-month highs," Barry Sergeant, Mineweb.
May 11: State-of-the-art air monitor finds dangerous levels of 1,3-butadiene near Mittal Steel
CLEVELAND -- Community leader Hilton Kelley from Port Arthur, Texas, brought a state-of-the-art air pollution monitor to Cleveland and quickly found dangerous levels of cancer-causing 1,3-butadiene a few hundred feet up Dille Road from Mittal Steel. The monitor also detected ground-level ozone and nitrogen oxide. The EPA-certified real-time monitor, called the CEREX UV Hound, was designed at MIT and manufactured by Cerex Environmental Services in Atlanta. Neither Mittal Steel, Cleveland Division of Air Pollution Control or the Ohio EPA have anything comparable. Why is that?
Mittal Steel idling blast furnaces|
CLEVELAND -- "Mittal Steel USA is taking further steps to match its output with inventory adjustments occurring in the markets that it serves. To accomplish this the company is taking its C-6 furnace at its Cleveland plant offline in preparation for gunning of refractory material to shore up its lining. The work is routine maintenance that had been scheduled for June. Normally, the furnace produces about 1,500 tons of iron daily. In addition, the company is idling H-3 blast furnace on the west side of the Indiana Harbor plant in East Chicago, Ind. The furnace will return to production when business conditions demand its 2,000-ton-a-day output. No. 6 blast furnace on that plant's east side has been idle since March," Recycling Today, May 6, 2005.
Images of workers at Mittal Steel Cleveland Works|
CLEVELAND -- Cleveland's Steve Cagan, one of the best photographers anywhere, has posted a new series of images of workers at Mittal Steel Cleveland Works. The site also includes new images from his recent trip to Chocó, Colombia, as well as from his 'Working Ohio' project, and many other topics. Cagan writes: "One of the functions of this site is to show images to organizations, magazines, and others who might want to use them, or people who might want copies. If you know of people or groups who might be able to use such pictures, please let them know about the galleries. If you have a use for these pictures I’ll be very pleased, but please don’t simply download these images; get in touch with me so I can get you a higher-quality file."
May 2: ISG Cleveland gives back to the community
New data show 2004 asthma- and cancer-linked emissions up sharply from 2003
Please mark your calendar for May 26|
Community meeting on air pollution and asthma
CLEVELAND -- "Come to a public meeting to learn about how air pollution in Cleveland contributes to asthma problems in children and adults, and to get involved in a 'good neighbor' campaign to urge Mittal Steel (formerly ISG and LTV) to reduce air pollution that can trigger asthma. The featured speakers will be Dr. Kathleen Fagan, environmental and occupational health physician, and Stuart Greenberg, executive director, Environmental Health Watch. The meeting will be on Thursday, May 26, 2005, from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM, at the Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ Fellowship Hall, 2592 W. 14th Street, Cleveland. For more information, contact Sandy Buchanan, (216) 861-5200," Ohio Citizen Action.
Mittal and U.S. Steel profits soar|
CLEVELAND -- "Higher prices and demand helped steel makers Mittal Steel Co. and U.S. Steel post hefty profits in the first quarter, but a potential crunch for raw materials could dampen earnings going ahead, the companies said. Mittal -- which became the world's largest steel maker with a series of acquisitions over the last year, including International Steel Group Inc. -- said its first- quarter profit nearly doubled, in line with analysts' expectations. Mittal, based in Rotterdam, Netherlands, earned a profit of $1.1 billion, or $1.78 per share, on sales of $6.4 billion in the first quarter. Last year, it earned $539 million, or 83 cents per share," Cleveland Plain Dealer.
| Apr 26: Mittal Steel USA looking for a home
Headquarters could be coming to E.C., Chicago
EAST CHICAGO, IN -- "Northwest Indiana? Chicago? The suburbs? Mittal Steel USA isn't giving any hints or doesn't yet know where it's planning to locate its new headquarters. After the recent merger of Mittal Steel N.V.'s U.S. subsidiary, Ispat Inland Inc., and International Steel Group Inc., which created Mittal Steel USA, the company announced it would be led by Lou Schorsch and have its headquarters in the region. The office building used as headquarters for ISG in Richfield, Ohio, will house Mittal Steel USA's Eastern division offices. Before the merger, there were 65 people based in the office; that number is expected to be cut by about 50 percent through relocations to the Chicago/Northwest Indiana region and terminations, according to published reports," Andrea Holecek, Northwest Indiana Times.
Steel won't have it easy in 2005|
CLEVELAND -- "After the price of hot-rolled sheet peaked last year around $780 a ton, it is already down to $550 to $575, Olin said. The price per ton may well drop to $450 per ton by 2006, Olin said. That's still well above the Depression-level prices that led much of the industry into bankruptcy a few years ago," Peter Krouse, Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Mittal Steel Company N.V. announces management organization at Mittal Steel USA|
CLEVELAND -- ISG chief executive officer quits; Mott was to lead U.S. unit after upcoming merger with Mittal, Peter Krouse, Cleveland Plain Dealer.
CLEVELAND -- Rodney B. Mott, Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Mar 30: Ohio keeps toxins flowing |
State likely to retain top rank in chemical releases into air despite economy's struggles
TOLEDO -- Toxic chemical output has dip; Emissions down for 6th straight year, Tom Henry, Toledo Blade.
| Mar 21: Mittal's M&A machine all set to steel the show|
DELHI, INDIA -- " At 28, hes already 11 mergers old. First, he cut his teeth on an IPO on Wall Street. Next he charged into Kazakhstan, Romania, Algeria and South Africa before invading the US. Meet the M&A maestro of Band Mittallica. Presenting Aditya, CFO and president of the worlds biggest house of steel. Also son of the worlds third-richest individual, Lakshmi Niwas Mittal. Excerpts from the interview: 'As the world’s most global steel company, we are focused on all areas of the world, with particular attention to certain jurisdictions. In Europe, we have recently been awarded exclusivity for Huta Czestochowa in Poland and we are very interested in the privatisation of Erdemir in Turkey. In terms of North America, as you know, we will shortly be completing our acquisition of International Steel Group and the immediate priority for this market will be on integrating ISG with our existing US operations,'" Ishani Duttagupta, Economic Times, India.
Lakshmi Mittal: Lionised but ignored|
Steel executives cash in on industry boom
PITTSBURGH, PA -- "A banner year for the domestic steel industry has turned into banner payouts for some steel executives. The chief executives at Pittsburgh-based United States Steel Corp. and Richfield, Ohio-based International Steel Group Inc. cashed out shares worth $34.8 million and $40.1 million, respectively. That's on top of a salary. In SEC documents filed Thursday, ISG reported that its president and chief executive, Rodney Mott, exercised options worth more than $40 million on top of his salary of $650,000, and a bonus of nearly $2 million. The five executives under Mott collectively made $18.4 million exercising shares. For his part in orchestrating a $4.5 billion in cash and stock deal to be acquired by Steel tycoon Lakshmi N. Mittal, ISG's Mott took home another $60.1 million," Charles Sheehan, Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Mittal unlikely to loosen steely grip|
Entrepreneur looks set to hold on to his stake in world's biggest steelmaker despite analysts' misgivings.
NEW DELHI, INDIA -- Mittal loves India for its hustle-bustle. "Mittal said, 'Simultaneous with the restructuring, we announced the ISG merger in the US to form the world’s largest steel producer. Upon completion, around the beginning of April, there will be a significant integration operation to exploit all synergy opportunities between our existing operations in the US and ISG’s operations,' " Ishani Duttagupta, Times News Network.
Mittal deal spawns questions|
Not everyone on board with ISG buyout
| Mar 8: ISG shakes up management
Company philosophy shifts from local to regional
RICHFIELD -- "Three years after its founding, International Steel Group Inc. is moving managers and changing both its former management structure and its 'local decision making' philosophy to a 'regional approach.' ISG is in the process of "consolidating operations and centralizing key functions on a corporate and regional level," according to a recent internal memo from Rodney Mott, ISG president and chief executive officer. ISG, which was formed in early 2002 to but the steelmaking assets of bankrupt LTV Corp., originally put decision making and performance results at the plant level. 'ISG will establish a decentralized, entrepreneurial culture in which each plant would focus full attention on making quality steel in the most cost-effective and profitable manner possible,' the company said in February 2002. At the time, Mott said each of the plants would have full responsibility for its performance and results, accompanied by local management of core functions including accounting, purchasing, engineering, customer service, and human resources," Andrea Holecek, Northwest Indiana News.
Waiting to inhale|
As asthma cases soar, doctors are finally beginning to understand how this chronic disease works. New treatments are on the horizon.
NEW YORK, NY -- "Recent studies have confirmed what scientists have suspected for years: that asthma is an immune-system reaction to dust, pollution and other allergens in the environment, which trigger spasms and tightening of the airways in some people who also have a genetic predisposition. Now they're zeroing in on that genetic vulnerability. The new thinking is that asthma isn't simply a matter of having the wrong genes. Instead, at some point in early childhood, or possibly in the womb, an event takes place that turns a person into a lifetime asthmatic. Scientists think the fetus or infant is somehow exposed to a critical dose of pollutants that causes the immune system to overreact, permanently narrowing the airways and making them more sensitive to irritants," Tara Pepper, Newsweek, issued dated Mar 14, 2005.
MORE ON ISG CLEVELAND
Officials: No Mesabi Range layoffs seen now|
EAST CHICAGO, IL -- "ISG President Rodney Mott, who will head U.S. operations for Mittal Steel, pledged no North American cutbacks or shutdowns, the [Feb 24] Forbes.com article said," Charles Ramsay, Mesabi Daily News.
| Mar 1: Can't you smell that smell?
CLEVELAND -- "Commuters from southern suburbs have long noticed a foul stench near International Steel. But about two months ago, the funkometer went off the charts. Now drivers on I-77 swerve along the highway, trying to put their shirts over their noses to keep from gagging. A recent stop at a city air-monitoring station confirmed our suspicion: Something new is in the air. A worker gathering air-quality data said a new pollutant began to register a few months back. 'It's coming from Research Oil,' he says. 'There's another monitoring site down there. I was there yesterday, and the smell was so bad, I couldn't eat my lunch.' Research Oil no longer exists. Its facilities are now run by General Environmental Management, which refines usable oil in hazardous waste for use at the steel mills," Cleveland Scene.
Feb 24: Mittal Steel may cut 8,000 jobs a year for five years|
ISG agrees to keep trucks off Forest City streets|
| Feb 11: ISG
earnings top $600 million|
Tax benefit, sales growth lift steelmaker's 4Q profit
RICHFIELD -- "International Steel Group Inc., soon to become part of Mittal Steel Co. NV, swung to a solid fourth- quarter profit of more than $600 million, helped by a tax benefit and improving steel sales. For the three months that ended Dec. 31, ISG earned $606 million, or $5.87 per share, compared with a loss of $48.7 million, or 57 cents per share, a year earlier, the steelmaker said late Wednesday. Quarterly sales were $2.55 billion, up from $1.42 billion a year earlier. The most recent fourth-quarter results include a tax benefit of about $390 million, or $3.78 per share, reflecting ISG's Bethlehem Steel Corp. acquisition and a valuation allowance. Excluding that tax benefit, ISG earned $216.1 million, or $2.10 per share. Growth from acquisitions and a strong global steel market also helped the company in the quarter, ISG said," Baltimore Sun.
ISG Cleveland agrees to keep coke trucks off Independence Road|
CLEVELAND -- "A representative of ISG Cleveland told the Forest City Civics Club last night that they have reached an agreement with Autumn Trucking to use non-residential routes to carry coke to the steel complex. Autumn Trucking has been using Independence Road to get to the plant, but will now use Rockefeller Avenue or Dille Hill. The agreement is effective immediately. ISG said that Autumn is the only trucking company they work with which had been using Independence Road," Meg Alley, Ohio Citizen Action.
CLEVELAND -- ISG truck traffic riling residents on Independence Road, Neighborhood News.
| Feb 6: Steel mill soot galvanizes Dearborn's south end
Neighbors in the south unite to sue the plant and demand an end to pollution
Neighbor logs dangerous truck traffic on Independence Road next to ISG Cleveland|
CLEVELAND -- "Rocco Cardinal, who lives on Independence Road near ISG Cleveland, detailed many truck problems the weekend before last: Of 22 trucks logged, 15 were loaded above the sideboards; none of these heavily-loaded trucks were covered. Ten trucks appeared to be speeding, six were crossing lane lines, and one was using engine breaks. Last weekend, Mr. Cardinal, who has 40 years of experience as a trucker himself, logged 11 pages worth of dangerous truck traffic on the residential street. The best way to to understand what is happening on Independence Road is to read Mr. Cardinal's handwritten logs," Meg Alley, Ohio Citizen Action.
Memo to ISG Cleveland:|
We have something that belongs to you.
And you can find plenty more in the yards of your neighbors.
"One of your neighbors on Independence Road found this in his front yard. He has found many of them, and is making a collection. It looks like a meteorite, but it is not. It is a lump of metallurgical coke you use in steelmaking. It flew off the back of an 18-wheeler barrelling down this residential street next to your Cleveland complex. This happens regularly, and it is just a matter of luck whether the hot coke hits a child in a stroller or a senior citizen in a lawn chair before it lands. Please keep your trucks off residential streets so that no one gets hurt," Ohio Citizen Action.
Steelworkers, PACE announce merger|
Deal creates nation's largest industrial labor union; officials say bigger force to have more political clout
PITTSBURGH, PA -- Steelworkers, PACE vote to merge, release, United Steelworkers of America.
| Jan 7: Steel industry recovery could end duties
Protection from imports imperiled as profits rise
CLEVELAND -- "U.S. producers of hot-rolled sheet -- the most common type of steel made in this country -- have been protected from low-priced imports from Japan, Russia and Brazil since 1999. Lewis Leibowitz, counsel for the Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition, argues that the two major factors that have suppressed imports are the anti-dumping orders and the weak dollar. International Steel Group Inc. in Richfield supports keeping the duties in place. 'There's certainly a place for imports,' said Chuck Glazer, an ISG spokesman, as long as they are fairly traded and not priced artificially low or sold with the aid of government subsidies or manipulated currencies. But in the next few months ISG is to be sold to Mittal Steel Co. N.V., a Dutch company with mills around the world. 'It will be interesting to see once the merger closes how our philosophy might adjust to being a larger global player,' Glazer said," Peter Krouse, Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Mittal Steel news from Jan-Jun 2006, Jul-Dec 2005, 2004